Equal Opportunity Employment

As an employer, the City of Bellingham values the dignity of all employees and is committed to providing a respectful workplace, one that is harassment free and in which all individuals are treated with respect. The expectation is that managers, supervisors and employees will create and maintain a work environment that is respectful of all persons in it. This policy establishes the guidelines for equal opportunity in employment and City services and prohibits discrimination against employees, applicants or any other covered persons because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), age (over 40), physical or mental disability, citizenship, service in the uniformed services, genetic information, certain union activity; making or supporting prior complaints of discrimination or harassment, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state or local law.


  1. The City’s Equal Opportunity Policy applies when any elected official, employee, whether manager or staff, or volunteer does the work or business of the City or a person applies for employment with the City. 
  • The City of Bellingham is committed to respect for each individual by creating an environment that blends cultural backgrounds, belief systems and ethnic diversity to create a harmonious workforce.
  • The City of Bellingham Provides Services Regardless of Differences by providing services to the public without regard to protected characteristics, beliefs, affiliations or activities. 
  • The City of Bellingham Provides Equal Employment Opportunity to maintain a professional, respectful work environment, free from harassment and discrimination related to protected characteristics, beliefs, affiliations or activities.
  • The City Provides Reasonable Accommodation for Disabilities providing a reasonable accommodation to the known physical, mental or sensory limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability.
  • The City Educates our Employees and Requires Compliance to ensure that discrimination, harassment and retaliation do not occur.
  • The City Encourages Employees to Prevent or Report Violations of this Policy directly to the other person. Early direct communication can avoid significant embarrassment, damaged relationships or reoccurrence. 
  • The City Responds Promptly to Complaints and Prohibits Retaliation by investigating all complaints alleging problematic conduct or violations of this policy.
  • Human Resources Director Administers this Policy and is responsible for this policy in partnership with department managers.
  • EEO Officer Manages Employment Selection Practices to ensure the City recruits for qualifications and diversity, selects for job-related reasons and complies with direction from the Civil Service Commission. 
  • ADA Officer Administers Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance for the City with the Public Works director or delegate, acting as an ADA officer to administer complaints and ADA access. 
  • Department Heads Ensure Equal Opportunity in Service Delivery ensuring compliance in both public services and employment. 

2. The City’s Gender-Segregated Facilities Policy, WAC 162-32-060, allows individuals to use gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender expression or gender identity: Gender-segregated Facilities (PDF)

  • Facility use. All covered entities shall allow individuals the use of gender-segregated facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms and homeless or emergency shelters, that are consistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity.
  • Cannot require use inconsistent with gender expression or gender identity. A covered entity shall not request or require an individual to use a gender-segregated facility that is inconsistent with that individual’s gender expression or gender identity, or request or require an individual to use a separate or gender-neutral facility.
  • Provision of options encouraged. Whenever feasible. covered entities are encouraged to provide options for privacy, such as single-use gender-neutral bathrooms or private changing areas, that are available to any individual desiring privacy.[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120(3.) WSR 15-24-071, S 162-32-060, effective 12/26/2015].


  • Resolution No. 2017-10 Resolution Affirming the Safety of All People Residing in Bellingham: In order to ensure the safety of Bellingham residents, we vow to not turn our backs on immigrants, regardless of documentation status, advocate for gender equality, protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and that Black Lives Matter. We will work to ensure people of color have equal protection under the law by working with our police department as well as condemn all hate speech in the City. We will continue to make efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and respect the rights of working people to organize. We will continue to address the issue of poverty in the City, work on reforming our local criminal justice system and respect treaty rights for sovereign nations. ​​​
  • Resolution No. 2017-23 Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to submit the 2017 HUD Action Plan that includes funding for vocational readiness programs, residential services, shelter and housing for LGBTQ youth, elders and homeless as well as those living with HIV or AIDS:


  • Ordinance No. 1998-08-067 ordinance for Fair Housing Practices outlawing discrimination for family status, sex, marital status, race, religion etc.: 

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