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I have a right to be myself at work.

Sexual Orientation & Sexual Expression Discrimination

The Barton Law Firm sues employers who discriminate against employees because of the employees' sexual-orientation or sexual expression, and sued employers who retaliate against employees for opposing that kind of discrimination.

Here are legal citations and information you might find helpful:

There are two ways to discriminate: by disparate treatment and by disparate impact. Disparate treatment occurs when an employer treats an employee who belongs to a protected class less favorably than other employees. Disparate impact occurs when an employer has a neutral employment practice that falls more harshly on members of a protected class.

Some laws protect both employees and independent contractors.



42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. (Civil Rights Act of 1964);

Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., 883 F.3d 100 (2d Cir. 2018) (holding that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation);

Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 109 S. Ct. 1770 (1989) (specifically holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on gender expression, but could be read to extend Title VII protection to sexual orientation).


Washington State:


RCW 49.44.085 (Employees may pursue causes of action under RCW 49.60);

RCW 49.60.030(1)(a) (Freedom from Discrimination);

RCW 49.60.180 (Unfair Practices of Employers);

WAC 162-32.010-050 (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity);

WPI 330.01 (Disparate treatment);

WPI 330.03 (Disparate impact).

King County:

KCC 12.16 (Nondiscrimination by contractors; county contractors only);

KCC 12.18 (Fair Employment Practices).


Pierce County:


PCC 3.16.010 (Equal Employment Opportunity; county employees only).


Snohomish County:


SCC 2.460.070 (Unlawful Discrimination by Employers).




SMC 14.04.040 (Unfair employment practices).

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