Harassment and Statute of Limitations Amendments

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights enforces laws against discrimination in the City of Seattle. Sexual harassment and other forms of harassment based on race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or other protected classes are illegal discrimination. Under the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC), a person had to file a claim within 180 days for employment, public accommodations, and contracting discrimination. State and Federal laws provide a longer amount of time file claims.

Effective June 11, 2018, new amendments to Seattle's laws against discrimination: 1) extend the statute of limitations (time to file); and 2) provide a new definition of "discrimination."

For Seattle's employment and contracting discrimination laws, the time to file a claim has been extended from 180 days to one year and six months after the discrimination happened. For housing and public accommodations discrimination laws, a person has a year after the discrimination happened to file a claim. 

Seattle's employment, public accommodations, housing, and contracting discrimination laws have been amended to provide the following definition: 

"Discrimination," "discriminate," and/or "discriminatory act" includes harassment, such as racial and sexual harassment, as well as harassment based on other protected classes.

If you have questions about the amendments, please contact us at (206) 684-4500 or email discriminationquestions@seattle.gov.  


Ordinance signed by Mayor Jenny A. Durkan


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