You may know that your employer has to provide accommodations for disabilities. However, impairment can take many different forms. You should understand how Washington State defines a disability so you can determine if you have a qualifying condition.
Washington’s definition of disability encompasses several diagnoses. According to the Washington State Human Rights Commission, a disability is any condition that impacts your ability to work. You do not need to have a long-term history of an ailment. Temporary disabilities also meet the requirements for accommodations.
State law recognizes that several different conditions can cause impairment. You might have a physiological disorder, such as vision or hearing loss. Conditions affecting the following systems also qualify:
However, a qualifying condition could also be psychological. Anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder may be disabilities. Developmental disorders are also eligible for workplace accommodations.
Some disabilities may not stem from a medical condition but can still greatly affect your ability to work. A history of addiction, for example, sometimes qualifies as a disability. If you are in the recovery process from alcohol or drug addiction, you can receive workplace accommodations. However, employers do not need to do this if someone currently uses illegal substances.
Your medical record
Before you speak to your employer about your disability, you should consider your medical record. You typically need a diagnosis to receive the necessary accommodations. Additionally, your medical record documents prior health problems. Although you may no longer experience daily complications, the record can show that you are still eligible for accommodations.
Understanding the definition of a disability can also help you determine if an employer has failed to meet legal requirements.