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Seattle Becomes First City in Nation to Ban Caste Discrimination

The Seattle City Council voted to pass a bill that adds caste to the categories of people protected from discrimination in various arenas, including employment, housing and public accommodations.

While a small number of colleges have prohibited caste discrimination in admissions and internal employment, Seattle is the first jurisdiction to do so as a matter of law.

CB 120511 bans employers from making workplace-related decisions based on any "system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy, and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law, or religion." To ensure you comply with the new law and protect the rights of this new class, you may need to familiarize yourself with how caste appears in traditions you may not know well.

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