Workers are entitled to protection from discrimination. L&I handles safety & health, wage & hour, and some other types of workplace discrimination.
Your employer may not fire you or discriminate or retaliate against you solely because you have exercised your workplace safety & health rights, such as:
- Bringing job safety and health concerns to your employer's attention.
- Participating in union activities concerning safety and health matters.
- Refusing a dangerous task when certain conditions exist.
- Filing safety and health grievances.
- Participating in safety and health inspections with a DOSH inspector.
- Filing a complaint about a workplace safety or health hazard with DOSH, OSHA, your local health or fire department or any other appropriate government.
We can help you determine if you have been discriminated against for exercising any of these rights.
- Call 360-902-6088 or 1-800-423-7233.
- Get a discrimination complaint form (F416-011-000) / Spanish discrimination complaint form (F416-011-999).
- Visit an L&I office in person.
More information on workplace safety & health discrimination
- Safety and Health Discrimination in the Workplace brochure (F417-244-000). / Spanish Safety & Health Discrimination brochure (F417-244-999)
- RCW 49.17.160 – Workplace Discrimination. (Washington state law)
- Discrimination, (Chapter 296-360, WAC) (L&I Rule)
L&I does NOT have jurisdiction over any of the following kinds of unfair or discriminatory treatment. If a worker feels they are being treated unfairly for any of those reasons, contact the appropriate agency:
- creed (religion),
- national origin,
- Age (40+),
- sex (including pregnancy and maternity),
- marital status,
- use of guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability,
- HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C status,
- sexual orientation/gender identity,
- honorably discharged veteran and military status,
- retaliation for reporting a discriminatory action,
- state employee whistleblower retaliation
- health care whistleblower retaliation.
While Washington is an at-will employment state, employers cannot fire or retaliate against an employee who exercises a protected right or files a complaint under certain employment laws, including the Minimum Wage Act, which guarantees that workers:
- Be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked.
- Receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a work week.
- Accrue, and be allowed to use paid sick leave hours.
- Be paid tips and service charges.
- Be able to discuss potential violations of these rights with your employer.
- File a complaint with Labor and Industries regarding any of these rights.
If you believe your rights have been violated, there are three ways you can file a complaint:
- File a Worker Rights Complaint online,
- Download and mail a completed Retaliation Complaint Form, or
- Visit your nearest L&I office.
Other laws that protect employees from discrimination or retaliation include: