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Seattle Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Attorney

Have you been subject to workplace discrimination and retaliation?

If you believe you’ve been subject to discriminatory conduct in the workplace, or if you experienced an adverse employment action after filing a complaint for discrimination, contact us immediately to discuss your case.

Lauren Parris Watts is an attorney experienced with workplace discrimination and retaliation claims and she guides her clients through these challenges in the workplace. Lauren can advise you on your rights and work alongside you to remedy the harm you’ve experienced.

What Is Employment Discrimination and Retaliation?

To discriminate against someone means to treat that person differently than others on some basis. The law protects most employees when differential treatment (1) affects an aspect of employment (e.g., hiring, firing, pay, benefits, job assignments, promotions, training) and (2) is on the basis of employee’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, status as a parent, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or other non-merit-based factors.




Discrimination becomes unlawful harassment when the treatment becomes so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment action.


The law also protects most employees from policies or practices that apply to everyone but have a negative impact on the employment of a protected group.


Retaliation is taking adverse action against an applicant or employee for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination. Retaliation is unlawful even if it turns out that the conduct the employee initially complained about is not found to be discrimination.



Because the law generally does not protect against petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents, it can be difficult to know when a situation would be classified as discrimination.

The list below will help you get a better idea whether your current situation can be classified as workplace discrimination:

Race discrimination


A supervisor constantly refers to his Black male subordinates as “boy”, won’t look him in the eyes when talking to him, and opposes the employee’s promotion because he states the employee is “too aggressive.” The supervisor behaves differently with his non-Black subordinates.


Disability discrimination


In support of a request for reasonable accommodation, a new sales rep informs her supervisor that she has cancer and will need to undergo treatment. A month later, the employee is unexpectedly subject to a reduction in force.


Pregnancy discrimination


After seven years working with her tech company, a woman becomes pregnant. She applies for and is denied a promotion despite the fact that she has met all applicable benchmarks. When she asks why she did not receive the promotion, her manager tells her that the position will not allow for someone who requires a “work-life balance.”


Age discrimination


After twenty years, a fifty-six-year-old mid-level manager is unexpectedly terminated and immediately replaced with a thirty-five-year-old employee that he trained.


Discriminatory policy or practice


A real estate company has a “no beard” policy for its sales representatives.


Have you been the victim of a wrongful termination?


Lauren Parris Watts

Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Attorney

Lauren counsels clients who have been subject to unlawful discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. Many of her clients are interested in a resolution out of court so they hire Lauren to partner with them in negotiating an early resolution with their employer. However, Lauren also represents clients in lawsuits when pre-litigation negotiations prove unsuccessful.

Employment Discrimination and Retaliation FAQs

My boss yells at me for no reason. Do I have a claim for a hostile work environment?

No. If your boss is truly yelling at you for “no reason” then you don’t have a claim.

Unfortunately, the law does not protect us from bad bosses. However, you may have a claim if your boss is yelling at you because you are a member of a protected group.

How long do I have to assert a claim of discrimination or retaliation?

It depends on the type of discrimination and the applicable law. Some claims need to be filed less than a year from the discriminatory act while you have up to three years to assert other claims.

If you believe you have a claim, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is not barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

How do I know whether the law protects me from unlawful discrimination or retaliation?

An employer must have a certain number of employees to be covered by federal, state, and local laws. The number varies depending on the type of employer (e.g. private company, state or local government agency, federal agency, employment agency, or labor union), the location of the employer and employee, and the type of discrimination involved.

Do I have to claim for retaliation even if my employer found my complaint of discrimination was unsupported?

Yes. As long as your complaint was based on a reasonable, good faith belief that a violation occurred, retaliation is unlawful even if it turns out that the conduct you initially complained about is not found to be discrimination.

Contact Lauren Parris Watts

People who have been discriminated against or retaliated against often doubt that gut feeling that something isn’t right or they feel nervous about asserting claims against their employer. Trust your gut and call attorney Lauren Parris Watts. She will clearly explain your rights, advise you on the options, and advocate for you.

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