No. While Washington State has adopted a variety of laws to protect against discrimination in the job application/hiring process, none of these laws prevent a potential employer from asking a candidate if they have previously been fired.
RCW 49.60.180(4) specifically identifies unfair practices as any form of application or inquiry in connection with prospective employment related to age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status or military status (including honorable discharge) but does not mention any limitations regarding prior employment.
WAC 162-12-140 provides additional examples of the type of information a potential employer is restricted in inquiring about but is silent on prior employment inquiries.
Here is an example of an application packet for court clerk that requires the applicant to fill out employment history. See Black Diamond’s application packet for court clerk.
MRSC has a variety of different resources to review addressing job postings and the hiring process:
- Hiring Process – Interviews and Interview Questions – Guidance on questions to be careful about during the interview process
- You Can’t Ask That! Pop Quiz on Preemployment Inquiries (2021) – Provides questions and answers on what interview questions can and cannot be asked, in a pop quiz format
- New Legal Requirements for Job Postings (2023) – Highlights the new Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) Administrative Policy for the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA)