Tag Archives: employment law

Senseless in Seattle…

I met a colleague at Black Coffee Coop on Capitol Hill today, which we selected because of its mutually beneficial location. I had an event that evening and was dressed in a suit and tie, so I stood out more than I usually do in Seattle.

As the barista rang up my coffee on an iPad, I noticed some Help Wanted flyers on the counter, which violated more laws simultaneously than any random scene from The Wolf of Wall Street.


It’s illegal in Washington state to refuse to hire someone because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity is a noble goal — if somewhat futile in Seattle — but you can’t achieve it through blatantly discriminatory hiring practices.

It’s less clear if you can legally base hiring decisions on political beliefs or their tolerance for being called “dude.” Personally, I think a FOX News viewer can pour my coffee and charge me too much for the privilege as well as an MSNBC viewer. It doesn’t appear relevant. Also, I imagine a good lawyer can argue that “political views” are different than party affiliation, and if they refuse to hire someone based on their views on marriage equality and abortion, they are in effect discriminating against their religious beliefs.

And a Muslim can probably pour my coffee as well as a Catholic, Jew, or atheist.


Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Social Commentary


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