Washington: Domestic Violence Leave Law Amended to Include Safety Accommodations

APPLIES TO

All Employers with WA Employees

EFFECTIVE

June 7, 2018

QUESTIONS?

Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Washington’s existing Domestic Violence Leave law was recently amended to require employers to provide reasonable safety accommodations to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Specifically, employers must consider an individual’s request for a reasonable safety accommodation, unless the accommodation causes an undue hardship on the business (defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense).  Employers may require the individual to furnish verification that the employee and their covered family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  The amendments provide a non-comprehensive list of potential safety accommodations, including:

  • Transfer or reassignment;
  • Modified work schedule;
  • Change of work telephone number(s) and/or e-mail address(es);
  • Change or modification of workstation, such as installing locks;
  • Implementation of safety procedures; and
  • Any other adjustments to job structures, workplace facilities, or work requirements in response to actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Additionally, employers may not discriminate or retaliate against individuals who are actual or perceived victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, such as refusing to hire an otherwise qualified victim, or discharging, demoting, or suspending an individual on the basis of being an actual or perceived victim.

Action Items

  1. Have handbooks and policy documents reviewed for compliance with the amended law.
  2. Have management trained on procedures for an employee’s request for safety accommodations.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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