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Interviewing and Selecting Job Candidates: Washington

Interviewing and Selecting Job Candidates requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Ina R. Silvergleid


  • Washington's antidiscrimination law is broader than federal law in that it protects personal characteristics based on marital or family status, sexual orientation or gender identity, use of a trained service or guide dog, and has a broader definition of disability. See Washington Law Against Discrimination.
  • The City of Seattle goes beyond Washington law in that it applies to all employers regardless of size and protects additional characteristics. See Seattle Civil Rights Law.
  • The Washington Human Rights Commission has adopted regulations governing questions that are part of the selection process. See Preemployment Inquiries.
  • Private employers may not ask about a prospective employee's criminal history before the applicant is deemed otherwise qualified for a position. See Washington Ban the Box Law.
  • A state law now curtails employers' efforts to gain access to a job applicant's social media accounts. See Social Media Password Protection Law.
  • Employers should be aware that Washington State has an antinepotism law that may affect their selection process. See Nepotism.
  • Employers are protected from providing a job reference when it is made in good faith. See Reference Checks.
  • Localities including Seattle and Spokane have laws pertaining to interviewing and selecting job candidates. See Local Requirements.