Washington State University is committed to providing equal opportunity in its services, programs, and employment for individuals with disabilities. The University complies with federal and state laws regarding Reasonable Accommodation for persons with disabilities, and will provide Reasonable Accommodation for known physical, mental, or sensory limitation of an otherwise qualified individual. Reasonable Accommodation is modification or adjustment to a job, work environment, policy, practice, or procedure that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunity and help them remain in their jobs or appointments, with or without accommodations.
WSU employees, appointees, candidates, and applicants for employment with WSU can apply for Reasonable Accommodation.
Persons with disabilities have the right to request and they may receive reasonable accommodation in all aspects of employment procedures with the University, including but not limited to application, recruitment, selection/hiring, promotion, testing, medical examinations, layoff/recall, assignments, termination, evaluation, compensation, disciplinary processes, leave, training, employee benefits including insurance, and employer-supported activities.
Student Employees: Employees enrolled as a WSU student with interest in work related accommodations for one of the following positions, that do not require them to be a registered and/or degree seeking student are to Contact Human Resource Services:
- Clerical Assistant
- Professional Worker
- Service Worker
- Skilled Trades Worker
- Technical Assistant
As outlined in the Temporary Employment Classification and Compensation Plan.
Students needing an accommodation for academic purposes are to contact the Access Center. Those needing an accommodation to participate in a WSU sponsored public event are to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity.
The reasonable accommodation process is interactive and requires cooperation and communication between the individual requesting accommodation and WSU staff members who respond to the request. Employees, appointees, candidates and applicants actively participate in the accommodation process by communicating their needs and interests and attending any meeting that may be necessary to discuss the accommodation request.
It is the employee’s responsibility to inform the supervisor or HRS that he or she needs a reasonable accommodation in order to perform his or her job functions or to receive equal benefits, privileges, or terms and conditions of employment. The employee is also responsible for providing current information concerning his or her medical condition, skills, abilities, training, and experience to HRS as part of the reasonable accommodation request.
To apply for Reasonable Accommodation, an employee may complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request form. Supporting medical documentation may also be needed. The Health Care Provider can complete the Reasonable Accommodation Health Care Provider Statement. Additionally, the Reasonable Accommodation Medical Release Statement may also be completed by the employee. All forms are available on the Disability Service forms page. Please return all forms to HRS. The contact information can be found on the contacts page.
Once HRS receives all the necessary information, they will review your submitted information and will contact you, your supervisor, and/or appointing authority of your department to discuss your request. Ultimately, the decision as to what, if any, accommodation is provided is a decision the appointing authority of the department will make. After a decision has been made, HRS will notify the employee as to the status of their request.
Alternative Job Search
The University attempts to place an employee with a documented disability in an equivalent or lower status vacant position for which the employee qualifies if:
- the employee is no longer able to perform the functions of his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation
- medical documentation establishes a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without a reasonable accommodation would aggravate the impairment to the extent that it would create a substantially limiting effect and no reasonable accommodation for the position exists
- and/or accommodation in the present position would cause an undue hardship
Generally, placement under this policy is without competition. However, an employee covered by this policy may compete with other similarly-situated candidates for the same non-promotional position. The employee must meet the minimum qualifications and specific position requirements for any vacant position offered as a reasonable accommodation. The employee must meet those position requirements with or without a reasonable accommodation.
Under this policy, the University is not required to:
- create a position
- displace another employee
- offer a promotion
- move an employee into a position for which the employee is not qualified
Refusal by the employee to cooperate with the placement efforts, or to provide adequate medical documentation, may result in separation or the employee not receiving reasonable accommodation.
A disability separation is an action taken to separate an employee from service when the employer determines that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position or class with or without reasonable accommodation due to mental, sensory, or physical incapacity. Disability separation is not a disciplinary action. If no applicable position is available (through an alternative vacant position), and after the employee has exhausted his or her family medical leave entitlement, the employee may be separated from the University and may be accorded reemployment assistance for a period of two years.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the qualifications for a Reasonable Accommodation?
- My medical condition is permanent; can I have a permanent Reasonable Accommodation?
- I am a supervisor and my employee has asked me to accommodate him/her due to a medical condition, what do I do?
- Is the medical information I submit confidential?
What are the qualifications for a Reasonable Accommodation?
To qualify for Reasonable Accommodation in employment, the following criteria must be met:
- The employee and the employer must participate in an interactive process. The employee and her or his health care provider are to provide documentation to HRS indicating that a disability or medical impairment is known or shown to exist in fact, if the impairment is not obvious.
- The impairment must have a substantially limiting effect upon the individual’s ability to perform his or her job, ability to be considered for a job, or access to equal benefits, privileges, or terms and conditions of employment. The existence of the impairment and the medical documentation must establish a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without an accommodation would aggravate the impairment to the extent that it would create a substantially limiting effect.
My medical condition is permanent; can I have a permanent Reasonable Accommodation?
While your condition may be permanent, HRS performs an annual review on all reasonable accommodations, as you may want to modify your accommodation or your condition, and/or associated limitations may have changed over time. This review may include a request for updated medical documentation to verify that the limitations are still in effect.
I am a supervisor and my employee has asked me to accommodate him/her due to a medical condition, what do I do?
Accommodations due to an employee’s medical condition should be facilitated through HRS. If you are asked by your employee to accommodate them due to their own medical condition, it is necessary that you refer your employee to HRS and do not participate in medical discussions with your employee. Please contact HRS to notify them you referred your employee.
Is the medical information I submit confidential?
By law, medical information must be maintained confidentially and separate from regular personnel records. For staff employees, medical records are retained in the HRS, Disability Services office.
HRS will not communicate confidential medical information to the department; they will only communicate to your department/college information they need to know, such as associated limitations.
You are not required to reveal the diagnosis of your condition or the details of your medical treatment to your immediate supervisor or to coworkers. However, some employees choose to share this kind of information with others. Employees who voluntarily share medical information with co-workers should consider that it may be passed on to others. The information should still be treated as confidential. An employee who has shared some information at one time may later decide that he or she no longer wishes to discuss the condition or its treatment. Such decisions must be respected.
Questions? Please contact Disability Services.
The University complies with federal and state laws regarding Reasonable Accommodation for persons with disabilities.
- BPPM 60.21, Reasonable Accommodation
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Regulations to Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the ADA (29 CFR Part 1630)
- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (28 CFR Part 35)
- Discrimination – Human Rights Commission – Revised Code of Washington 49.60
- Employment – Handicapped Persons – Washington Administrative Code 162-22
- Reasonable Accommodation – Washington Administrative Code 357-26
- JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit