Public Accommodations Services
We investigate and resolve complaints alleging discrimination which violates the King County Public Accommodations Ordinance, King County Code, Title 12, Chapter 22 .
The King County Public Accommodations Ordinance prohibits discrimination by persons and/or places that provide goods or services to the general public because of a customer's protected class:
- national origin
- parental status
- marital status
- sexual orientation (includes gender identity)
- use of a service or assistive animal
Retaliation is prohibitedIt is discriminatory practice and unlawful for any person, whether acting on his or her own behalf or for another, to retaliate by taking action against another person because the other person:
- Opposed any practice forbidden by this chapter;
- Complied or proposed to comply with this chapter or any order issued under this chapter; or
- Filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing initiated under this chapter.
What is a 'place of public accommodation'?
Some King County government agencies and most businesses, services and organizations located in unincorporated King County are considered to be places of public accommodations. These include grocery stores, retail stores, gas stations, hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, banks, theaters, concert halls, sports arenas, museums, auditoriums, convention halls, taxis, private bus lines, barber shops and beauty salons, doctor and dentist offices, fitness centers, and non-profit organizations, such as food banks, shelters and senior centers.
Examples of Unfair Actions
Places of public accommodations are responsible for providing non-discriminatory services to customers and clients. This ordinance prohibits:
- treating customers differently because of protected class
- harassment based on sex or other protected class
- failing to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled customers
When can public accommodations complaints be filed?
Public Accommodations complaints must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination (or within 180 days of when you became aware of it).
Note: This ordinance permits imposing age limits up to 21, and offering discounts, special prices, or other special arrangements to children, families, people with disabilities, or senior citizens.The ordinance does not apply to any non-commercial facility operated or maintained by a bona fide religious institution.
Education and outreach
We can provide information about the public accommodations ordinance. Contact our office for information.