WSR 04-13-187

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL


[ Filed June 23, 2004, 11:38 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: New sections WAC 357-26-005 What is the purpose of this chapter?, 357-26-010 When must an employer provide reasonable accommodation?, 357-26-015 What actions may an employer take to provide reasonable accommodation?, 357-26-020 What is the requirement for employers to have a policy and procedure covering reasonable accommodation?, and 357-26-025 May an employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of a position request to be separated from employment?

Hearing Location(s): Department of Personnel, 521 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA, on July 29, 2004, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 29, 2004.

Submit Written Comments to: Sharon Whitehead, Department of Personnel, P.O. Box 47500, FOR DOP TRACKING PURPOSES PLEASE NOTE ON SUBMITTED COMMENTS "FORMAL COMMENT," fax (360) 586-4694, by July 23, 2004.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Department of Personnel by July 23, 2004, TTY (360) 753-4107 or (360) 586-8260.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rules provide state employers guidance regarding the use of reasonable accommodation in employment and separation.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 41.06 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.06.150.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Due to the passage of SHB 1268 the director of the Department of Personnel has rule-making authority regarding reasonable accommodation. The proposed rules implement this provision of the Personnel System Reform Act.

Name of Proponent: Department of Personnel, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Sharon Whitehead, 521 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA, (360) 664-6348; Implementation and Enforcement: Department of Personnel.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not required.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.

June 23, 2004

E. C. Matt

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-26-005   What is the purpose of this chapter?   The purpose of chapter 357-26 WAC is to provide guidance to employers regarding reasonable accommodation as it specifically relates to employment and separation within the provisions of the civil service rules.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-26-010   When must an employer provide reasonable accommodation?   An employer must reasonably accommodate a known disability of a qualified candidate or employee as required by chapter 49.60 RCW and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-26-015   What actions may an employer take to provide reasonable accommodation?   For persons with disabilities, as defined by state or federal law, reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:

(1) Accommodation in application procedures, testing, and the interview process; or

(2) Modifications or adjustments to a job, work method, or work environment that make it possible for a qualified person with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to employees without disabilities.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-26-020   What is the requirement for employers to have a policy and procedure covering reasonable accommodation?   (1) In accordance with the policy statement requirements of WAC 357-25-025, employers must develop and maintain a policy statement on reasonable accommodation.

(2) In accordance with state and federal laws, employers must develop and make readily available a procedure regarding reasonable accommodation of employees with disabilities.

(a) Each employee who requests reasonable accommodation must be provided access to the employer's reasonable accommodation procedure in an accessible format.

(b) Employees who request reasonable accommodation must be notified in writing that in the event he or she cannot be accommodated in his or her current position, and placement in an alternative vacant position is not possible, the appointing authority may initiate a disability separation in accordance with WAC 357-46-160.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-26-025   May an employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of a position request to be separated from employment?   An employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of the employee's position due to mental, sensory, or physical incapacity may notify the employer that he or she does not wish to pursue accommodation and would like to be separated from employment. In this case, the appointing authority is not required to consider a reasonable accommodation and may initiate a disability separation in accordance with WAC 357-46-160.

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