Reasonable Accommodation

The state of Washington is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure equal employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Understand

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or changes to a job, work environment, policy, practice, or procedure that allow a qualified individual with a disability an equal employment opportunity to perform their job.

Take Action

Requests for reasonable accommodation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and handled in a timely manner. The supervisor may ask, but not require, the individual to submit this request in writing. The process shall be interactive between the candidate or employee and the agency, keeping the employee involved throughout. The agency is not obligated to accommodate persons who fail to cooperate.

Employees are welcome to approach their supervisor, the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Human Resource (HR) Consultant or other agency representative at any time to initiate discussions about reasonable accommodation(s). When an employee has requested a reasonable accommodation and their disability is not obvious, an HR Consultant may ask an employee to obtain a statement from a health care professional identifying the disability and how it limits the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their position. The agency will treat information about the presence or nature of a disability as confidential medical information, and will secure the information apart from the employee’s personnel file.

When two or more effective accommodations allow a qualified individual with a disability an equal employment opportunity the agency shall select the reasonable accommodation to be provided to the individual.

If an employee cannot be reasonably accommodated in their current position, the department will ask the employee whether they want the agency to look for reassignment to a vacant funded position elsewhere in the agency. If so, the agency will look for a position that meets the following criteria:

  1. The position is one that the employee is qualified to perform.
  2. The position is at the same or lower salary level.
  3. The position meets the employee’s reasonable accommodation needs.

If there is a question whether a particular reasonable accommodation might cause an undue hardship or if a direct threat issue exists, then the DES HR Consultant will work with the agency in assessing the concern.

A qualified person with a disability has the right to refuse an accommodation. However, when a person refuses a reasonable accommodation and cannot perform the essential functions of the job without the accommodation, the agency will not consider such person to be otherwise qualified and will treat the situation as a performance issue.