The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), RCW 49.60, prohibits discrimination on the basis of honorably discharged veterans or military status in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodation, credit, and lending. RCW 49.60.040, defines honorably discharged veteran or military status to include a person who is: A “veteran as defined in RCW 41.04.007;” or “an active or reserve member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, Coast Guard, and Armed Forces Reserve.
Examples of Veteran/Military Status Discrimination
- A housing provider must not negatively consider veteran or military status when making housing-related decisions.
- Housing policies and practices must not have an adverse impact on veterans or those in the military by preventing a housing provider from selling or renting to veterans or those currently in the military.
- A housing provider cannot deny a rental to a service member or reservist based on the assumption that he or she would be called to active duty before the terms of the lease are completed.
- A real estate agent should not steer or persuade a service member to buy a home in a certain area simply because of its proximity to a military base or other military families.
Discrimination in Housing Based on Having a Disability is also Prohibited
Under both the Federal Fair Housing Act and WLAD, veterans and service members with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations (exceptions to housing rules or policies) to enable them to live in housing they otherwise qualify for, if necessary because of a disability.
An accommodation is reasonable if it does not impose undue financial and administrative burdens on the housing provider, and is not a fundamental alteration of the housing program.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations:
- Assistance Animal
- Reserved Parking Space
- Live-in Caregiver