Title 18 - Discrimination Complaint Information & Resources

This page serves as a resource guide of federal, state and local agencies with whom you may file a human rights complaint. Please take a moment to review the multiple resources available that may assist you in what you are seeking. Complaints filed with the City of Spokane that are within the jurisdiction of other agencies or that do not fall within the jurisdication of Title 18 complaint types will be forwarded to the appropriate agency.

Federal Agencies

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.

United States Department of Justice (USDOJ)

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice works to uphold the civil constituational rights of all Americans. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.

Listed below are the different areas of descrimination governed by the USDOJ, if your complaint qualifies under one of these areas please complete the USDOJ Complaint Form.

State Agencies

Washington State Human Rights Commission (WAHRC)

Under the law, everyone has the right to be free from discrimination at work, in housing, in a public accommodation, or when seeking credit and insurance. Any individual who believes that he or she has been discriminated against based on protected class status may file a charge of discrimination with the WAHRC.

A discrimination charge in employment, public accommodation, credit and insurance must be filed with WSHRC within six months, from the date of the alleged violation, in order to protect your rights. A discrimination charge in housing must be filed with the WSHRC within one year from the date of the alleged violation.

Visit the Washington State Human Rights Commission webpage to learn more and to file a complaint. Complaint forms are available in English/Spanish, standard and fillable pdf.

WSHRC Complaint Process

Washington Office of the Education Ombudsman (WOEO)

WOEO helps families and schools resolve conflicts regarding parents', students', and others' rights and responsibilities within the state's public elementary and secondary education system through the provision of information and options for collaborative problem-solving. Facilitates communication between schools, districts, and families to solve student problems. Advocates for fairness and access for all students in Washington State public schools.

Listed below are the different areas of descrimination governed by the WOEO, if your complaint qualifies under one of these areas please complete the WOEO Complaint Form.

Local Agencies

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance is a non-profit fair housing advocacy organization established in September 1994. They receive funding from federal, state, and local agencies and private entities to bring fair housing advocacy and training to 17 counties in Eastern and Central WA. Exists to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for the people of Washington State through education, counseling, and advocacy.

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance can help to file a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Washington State Human Rights Commission if they feel they are being discriminated against in the terms or availability of housing on the basis of:

City of Spokane – Title 18

In 2017 the City of Spokane City Council adopted Title 18: Human Rights into the Spokane Municipal Code. The ordinance relating to human rights protections. By adopting this ordinance the City of Spokane governs the following type of complaints:

Equal Opportunity in Employment
  • Employment
    • Refusing to hire, employ or promote, by barring or discharging from employment, in compensation or terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless discrimination results from a bona fide occupational requirement reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business.
    • Discrimination by printing or circulating, or by causing to be printed or circulated, any statement, advertisement or publication, or by using any employment application form, or by making an inquiry in connection with prospective employment which expresses, directly or indirectly, any discriminatory limitation or specification.
    • Discrimination by classifying or referring for employment, or by failing or refusing to refer for employment, or otherwise.
  • Labor Organizations
    • Discrimination by excluding or expelling individuals from membership in a labor organization or otherwise to attempt to influence members of the organization from exercising or preserving their rights under this chapter.
  • Assisting in Discrimination
    • Knowledge or assent of an employer, to assist, induce, compel or coerce the doing of any acts of discrimination, or to attempt to do so.
  • Vocational, Professional, or Trade Schools
    • Discrimination in admission of or instruction to any otherwise qualified person in the operation of any vocational, professional, or trade school located within the City and licensed to operate in Washington.
  • Apprenticeship and Occupational Training Programs
    • Discrimination by denying or withholding the right to be admitted to or participate in a guidance program, apprentice training program, on-the-job training program or other occupational training or re-training program in the terms, conditions or privileges of such programs.
Housing Practices
  • Discrimination violations include:
    • refusing to sell, lease, rent or otherwise make available any offered real property;
    • expelling a purchaser, lessee or renter from any real property;
    • altering the price, terms, conditions or privileges relating to the sale, rental, lease or occupancy of real property, or in the furnishing of any facilities or services in connection with real property;
    • attempting to discourage the sale, rental or lease of any real property to a purchaser, lessee or renter;
    • publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind relating to the sale, rental or lease of real property which indicates any preference, limitation or specification with respect thereto;
    • assisting, inducing, compelling or coercing another person to commit an act or engage in a practice that violates this subsection;
    • coercing, intimidating, threatening or interfering with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise of, any right granted or protected by this subsection.
  • No person whose business includes engaging in residential real estate related transactions may discriminate in making available or in the terms and conditions of such a transaction.
  • Real estate licensee who accepts or retains a listing of real property for sale, lease or rental with an understanding that a purchaser may be discriminated against with respect to the sale, rental or lease.
  • No person may for profit induce or attempt to induce any other person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or person of a particular race, religion, creed, color, sex, national origin, marital status, familial status, domestic violence victim status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, refugee status, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act and/or the Washington State Law Against Discrimination, Chapter 49.60 RCW.
    Exemptions from Housing Discrimination include:
    • Provisions of this chapter do not apply to owner of a single-family house rented or leased by the owner if:
      1. The owner does not own or have an interest in the proceeds of the rental or lease of more than one single-family house at one time, and
      2. The owner also occupies the single-family house rented or leased.
    • Nothing in Title 18 prohibits the denial of housing on the basis of reasonable, non-discriminatory factors, including, without limitation, rental history.
Public Accommodation
  • Protections for Persons with Disabilities
    • Discrimination against a people with disabilities to purchase any service, commodity or article of personal property offered or sold on, or by any establishment to the public, and the admission of any person to accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage or amusement, without acts directly or indirectly causing persons of any particular race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, refugee status or with any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, to be treated as not welcome, accepted, desired, or solicited.
    • People with disabilities are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges on all places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
  • Protections for Persons Using a White Cane, a Dog Guide or a Service Animal
    • The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian who:
      • Is totally or partially blind and who is carrying a cane predominantly white in color (with or without a red tip);
      • Is totally or partially blind or who has a hearing impairment and is using a dog guide; or
      • Has another physical disability and is using a service animal shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such pedestrian.
    • Any driver who fails to take the necessary precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian.
    • It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to drive into or upon any crosswalk while there is on such crosswalk, a person using a white cane, dog guide or service animal who is crossing or attempting to cross the roadway.
    • The failure of any person using a white cane, guide dog or service animal to signal shall not deprive them of the right-of-way accorded by other laws.
  • Protections for Persons With a Disability Not Carrying a White Cane, Using a Dog Guide, or a Service Animal
    • A pedestrian who is totally or partially blind and who is not carrying a white cane or a pedestrian who is totally or partially blind or has a hearing impairment but is not using a dog guide in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law on other persons.
  • Misrepresentation in the Use of White Cane, Dog Guide or Service Animal
    • It shall be unlawful for any pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind to use a white cane or any pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind or does not have a hearing impairment to use a dog guide or any person who does not have a disability as defined in this chapter to use a service animal in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances.
Complaint Forms

If you live within the City of Spokane municipal boundaries and believe you have been discriminated against based off of the proceedings under Title 18, please complete a complaint form.

My Spokane

Have a question? Need Assistance? We're here to help, call us at: 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489)