Definition of Commission (WLAD)

Definition of Commission (WLAD)

Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), what is the definition of “commission”? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).


The WLAD "prohibits discriminatory practices in the areas of employment, places of public resort, accommodation, or amusement, in real estate transactions, and credit and insurance transactions on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, families with children, sex, marital status, sexual orientationage, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and prohibits retaliation against persons who oppose a discriminatory practice, and those who file health care and state employee whistleblower complaints." See WSHRC Official Website --> About Uslast visited 3/27/18.


The WLAD defines the term “commission” as follows:

(3) "Commission" means the Washington state human rights commission.

RCW 49.60.040(3) (emphasis and hyperlink added).


The WLAD empowers the Washington State Human Rights Commission with certain powers and duties, as follows:

The commission shall have the functions, powers, and duties:

(1) To appoint an executive director and chief examiner, and such investigators, examiners, clerks, and other employees and agents as it may deem necessary, fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law, and prescribe their duties.

(2) To obtain upon request and utilize the services of all governmental departments and agencies.

(3) To adopt, amend, and rescind suitable rules to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and the policies and practices of the commission in connection therewith.

(4) To receive, impartially investigate, and pass upon complaints alleging unfair practices as defined in this chapter.

(5) To issue such publications and results of investigations and research as in its judgment will tend to promote good will and minimize or eliminate discrimination because of sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, marital status, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

(6) To make such technical studies as are appropriate to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter and to publish and distribute the reports of such studies.

(7) To cooperate and act jointly or by division of labor with the United States or other states, with other Washington state agencies, commissions, and other government entities, and with political subdivisions of the state of Washington and their respective human rights agencies to carry out the purposes of this chapter. However, the powers which may be exercised by the commission under this subsection permit investigations and complaint dispositions only if the investigations are designed to reveal, or the complaint deals only with, allegations which, if proven, would constitute unfair practices under this chapter. The commission may perform such services for these agencies and be reimbursed therefor.

(8) To foster good relations between minority and majority population groups of the state through seminars, conferences, educational programs, and other intergroup relations activities.

RCW 49.60.120 (hyperlink added).

Related Articles 

We invite you to read our article entitled: The Washington State Human Rights Commission.

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If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.


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