WLAD: Definition of Honorably Discharged Veteran or Military Status

Gregory A. Williams, Esq.

Attorney-Owner at Williams Law Group
Admissions: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Federal Claims; U.S. District Court Western Dist of WA; all WA State Courts.

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By Gregory Williams, Esq. | Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), what is the definition of the term “Honorably Discharged Veteran or Military Status”? Here’s my point of view (please review our Disclaimer, Terms of Use & Privacy Notice before proceeding).


Under WLAD, it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.


Chapter 49.60.040 RCW is the relevant law, and as of the date of this article it defines the term “Honorably Discharged Veteran or Military Status” as follows:

Honorably discharged veteran or military status” means a person who is:

(a) A veteran, as defined in RCW 41.04.007; or

(b) An active or reserve member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the national guard, coast guard, and armed forces reserves.

RCW 49.60.040 (emphasis added).


As of the date of this article,  veteran, as defined in RCW 41.04.007, is as follows:

Veteran” includes every person, who at the time he or she seeks the benefits of RCW 46.18.212, 46.18.235, 72.36.030, 41.04.010, 73.04.090, or 43.180.250 has received an honorable discharge or received a discharge for medical reasons with an honorable record, where applicable, and who has served in at least one of the following capacities:

(1) As a member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the national guard and armed forces reserves, and has fulfilled his or her initial military service obligation;

(2) As a member of the women’s air forces service pilots;

(3) As a member of the armed forces reserves, national guard, or coast guard, and has been called into federal service by a presidential select reserve call up for at least one hundred eighty cumulative days;

(4) As a civil service crewmember with service aboard a U.S. army transport service or U.S. naval transportation service vessel in oceangoing service from December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946;

(5) As a member of the Philippine armed forces/scouts during the period of armed conflict from December 7, 1941, through August 15, 1945; or

(6) A United States documented merchant mariner with service aboard an oceangoing vessel operated by the department of defense, or its agents, from both June 25, 1950, through July 27, 1953, in Korean territorial waters and from August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975, in Vietnam territorial waters, and who received a military commendation.

RCW 41.04.007 (emphasis added).


If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced employment discrimination attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible. This article is not offered as legal advice and will not establish an attorney-client relationship with Williams Law Group, Law Office of Gregory A. Williams, P.S., Inc., or the author of this article. Please read our Disclaimer, Terms of Use & Privacy notice.