(1) General rule. It is an unfair practice to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because of marital status. Examples of unfair practices include, but are not limited to:
(a) Refusing to hire a single or divorced applicant because of a presumption that "married persons are more stable."
(b) Refusing to promote a married employee because of a presumption that he or she "will be less willing to work late and travel."
(2) Exceptions to the rule. There are narrow exceptions to the rule that an employer, employment agency, labor union, or other person may not discriminate on the basis of marital status:
(a) If a bona fide occupational qualification applies (please see WAC 162-16-240
(b) If an employer is enforcing a documented conflict of interest policy limiting employment opportunities on the basis of marital status:
(i) Where one spouse would have the authority or practical power to supervise, appoint, remove, or discipline the other;
(ii) Where one spouse would be responsible for auditing the work of the other;
(iii) Where other circumstances exist which would place the spouses in a situation of actual or reasonably foreseeable conflict between the employer's interest and their own; or
(iv) Where, in order to avoid the reality or appearance of improper influence or favor, or to protect its confidentiality, the employer must limit the employment of close relatives of policy level officers of customers, competitors, regulatory agencies, or others with whom the employer deals.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120
(3). WSR 99-15-025, § 162-16-250, filed 7/12/99, effective 8/12/99.]