Equal Benefits Ordinance: King County, Wash.

Passed in 2003
Effective in 2004

Applies to:

Contracts with:

  • Private companies for more than $25,000; and
  • Only applies to the businesses’ operations with the city. However, if the actual work related to the city contract is being performed in another state, the law applies. Also applies to city-owned property outside of the city.

Exceptions & Waivers

Executive can waive compliance if:

  • Contract is responding to an emergency.
  • Exempts contracts with other governments, real estate contracts and collective bargaining agreements.
  • There are no contractors capable of responding to the county’s requirements that can comply with the provisions of this chapter.
  • The contactor, despite taking all reasonable measures to do so, demonstrates it is unable to extend a particular employee benefit to domestic partners.
  • The requirements are inconsistent with a grant, subvention or agreement with a public agency.
  • The county is purchasing through a cooperative or joint purchasing agreement.


The executive is responsible for the enforcement of the ordinance.

If the contractor fails to comply with the ordinance:

  • Disqualification of the contractor from bidding on or being awarded a county contract for up to two years;
  • Liquidated damages and termination of damages; and
  • Civil remedies and sanctions.


King County Code not codified Bill No. 2003-0419


Office of King County Executive
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 400
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 296-4040
Fax: (206) 296-0194
TTY: 711
Email: exec.sims@metrokc.gov