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Home » Policy & Funding » Equity and Civil Rights » Civil Rights Laws and Regulation

Civil Rights Laws and Regulation

Contact Information

Equity & Civil Rights

360-725-6162
TTY:
360-664-3631

Discrimination, Harassment and Discriminatory Harassment

Discrimination and Protected Classes
Discrimination is the unfair or unequal treatment of a person or a group because they are part of a defined group, known as a protected class.
Protected class refers to a group of people who share common characteristics, and who are protected from discrimination and harassment under federal and state laws. In Washington, discrimination based on these protected classes is prohibited.

  • Sex
  • Race and color
  • Religion and creed
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Disability and the use of a trained dog guide or service animal
  • Honorably discharged veteran or military status

Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools
These guidelines can help school districts understand their obligations under these civil rights laws.


Age

Federal Law
Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (34 C.F.R. Part 110)

Washington State Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination.
Note: OSPI does not have authority to enforce this law—complaints can be made to the Human Rights Commission.


Disability

Federal Law
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34 C.F.R. Part 104)
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. Part 35) Applies to public entities with 50 or more employees.

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Federal Law
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106). Note: Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and sex-stereotyping, such as discrimination based on a person’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


National Origin

These laws also protect students and families with limited-English proficiency.

Federal Law
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 100)
Executive Order 13166
Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. §1701, et seq.)
Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW | WAC 162-28-040 — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Race

Federal Law
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 100)
Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)
Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Religion/Creed

Federal Law
Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)
Employment: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Washington State Law
Washington State Constitution, Article I, sections 5 and 11
Chapter 28A.600.025 RCW — Students' rights of religious expression — Duty of superintendent of public instruction to inform school districts.
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Sex

Federal Law
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)
Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)
Employment: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.640 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Sexual Orientation

Federal Law
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106). Note: Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and sex-stereotyping, such as discrimination based on a person’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.
Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination


Veteran/Military Status

Washington State Law
Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC — Equal Educational Opportunity Law
Chapter 49.60 RCW — Washington Law Against Discrimination