Reasonable Accommodation


The state of Washington is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to ensure equal employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or the way a job is performed that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This can be adjustments or changes to a job, work environment, policy, practice, or procedure.


Requests can happen during the application process, after a job offer, or any time during employment. The request can come from the individuals themselves or by the individual’s representative (ex: spouse). You may ask, but cannot require, the individual to submit the request in writing.

Basic Types of Accommodations
  • Job restructuring – eliminating marginal functions
  • Modified work schedule – part time or flexible hours
  • Modified workplace – installing a power door
  • Equipment – purchasing/modifying existing equipment
  • Reassignment – reassign to a vacant position if the employee is qualified and the position has similar pay and status

Do not disclose the reasonable accommodation to other staff. The employee can disclose this information if they choose to.

Agency Responsibilities

Step 1: Identify the need of the employee

Step 2: Clarify the need – document the request and your response to the request

Step 3: Determine the essential functions of the current job (they should be underlined in the PD)

Step 4: Determine the options for the employee (be fair and treat each request individually)

Step 5: Consult with the employee – inform them of the options, you may need to engage with the employees’ health care provider only if the employee agrees and signs a release

Step 6: Select a reasonable accommodation

Remember, you are not required to provide the accommodation the employee wants and you cannot require an employee to accept an accommodation they do not want. However, if the employee needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job or to remove a barrier they may not be qualified for the job.

Please work with your Leave Administrator with any reasonable accommodation requests.