In January 2019, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed Floeting v. Group Health Cooperative, a 2017 decision finding that the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) provides protection against sexual harassment or abuse in places of public accommodation.Â
What is WLAD (Washington Law Against Discrimination)?
Simply put, an employer can be held directly liable when one of its employees or agents sexually harasses a customer, student, or patient. Previously, victims seeking to hold an employer liable would need to prove facts showing they negligently hired, supervised, or trained the employee; the employeeâ€™s past conduct made the misconduct foreseeable; the misconduct occurred while the employee was performing work duties; or the employer participated in the misconduct. The WLAD allows victims to bypass these all-too-often insurmountable hurdles.Â