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Disabilities (ADA): Washington

Disabilities (ADA) requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Michelle Barrett Falconer and Breanne Sheetz Martell, Littler


  • In addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees in Washington are protected from discrimination based on disabilities under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). See Disability Discrimination in Washington.
  • The WLAD contains a broader definition of covered disabilities than the ADA. See The Washington Law Against Discrimination.
  • Unlike the ADA, the WLAD does not expressly exclude current illegal drug use and certain other conditions and it provides specific protection for individuals infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. See What Is a Disability?
  • The WLAD requires employers to engage in certain accommodation efforts beyond those required by the ADA, and those accommodation obligations may continue even after termination of the employment relationship. See Duty to Accommodate.
  • In a lawsuit in state court in Washington, the WLAD may be found to apply even to employees who were employed outside the state of Washington. See Enforcement.
  • Localities including Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma have requirements pertaining disability discrimination. See Local Requirements.