From Stoel Rives LLP via JDSupra —
“[T]he Washington Court of Appeals’ recent ruling in Currier v. Northland Services, Inc., confirms that even those individuals who qualify as bona fide independent contractors will be deemed subject to the full protections of the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”), including protection from retaliation….
[T]he court confirmed that the WLAD’s prohibition on retaliation is intended to apply to independent contractors, noting that the WLAD extends protections to “any person” from retaliation by an employer or “other person.” Second, the court held that the fact the racist comment overheard by Currier was made by another independent contractor did not shield NSI from liability. Instead, Currier needed only to show a reasonable belief that the employment practice about which he complained was covered by the WLAD. In so holding, the court noted that it was not holding NSI liable for the independent contractor’s comment, but for NSI’s action in terminating Currier’s contract after he complained about the comment.”
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