Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1971 NO. 42 > Dec 20 1971

(1) In view of the prohibitions against discrimination on the baisis of sex in employment which are contained in Title VII, of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e‑2), in RCW 49.12.200, and in RCW 49.60.180, an employer who is covered by the eight-hour day provisions of RCW 49.28.070 may permit his female employees to work a week comprised of four ten-hour work days in lieu of the customary work week consisting of five eight-hour days. (2) An employer who is covered by RCW 49.28.070 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e‑2 may require his female employees working within the designated areas listed therein to work a four-day, forty-hour work week if such employer requires his male employees to do so; and the employer may exclude those females from his employment who are unwilling to work this schedule.(3) An employer who is covered by RCW 49.28.070 and one or both of the state antidiscrimination statutes (RCW 49.12.200 or RCW 49.60.180) but not by 42 U.S.C. § 2000e‑2, may not require his female employees working within the designated areas listed in RCW 49.28.070 to work a four-day, forty-hour work week; and such an employer may not exclude females from employment solely in order to establish a uniform four-day, forty-hour work week for all of his covered employees.  In such a case, the employer's ability to establish such a uniform work week will depend upon the willingness of his female employees to accede to this schedule.