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(1) General rule. It is an unfair practice for an employer, employment agency, labor union, or other person to request that a trained dog guide or service animal be removed from the workplace, UNLESS that employer, employment agency, labor union, or other person can show that the presence, behavior or actions of that dog guide or service animal constitutes an unreasonable risk to property or other persons.
It is an unfair practice to remove a trained dog guide or service animal from the entire workplace because the animal presents a risk of injury or harm when in part of the workplace.
(2) Assessing risk of injury or harm.
(a) Risk to property or other persons must be immediate or reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances, not remote or speculative. Risk to persons may be given more weight than risk to property. Risk of severe injury or harm may be given more weight than risk of slight injury or harm. For example, a principal excludes a teacher's dog guide because; "A neighborhood dog bit one of our kids last year, so I don't allow any dogs at school." This is not "reasonably foreseeable risk" justifying removal of the dog guide.
(b) Annoyance on the part of staff or other customers of the workplace at the presence of the dog guide or service animal is not an unreasonable "risk to property or other persons" justifying the removal of the dog guide or service animal.
(c) Risk of injury or harm to the dog guide or service animal is not a reason for an employer to remove or exclude the animal. The decision whether to bring the animal to the worksite under such conditions most properly rests with the person with a disability using the dog guide or service animal.
(3) Reasonable accommodation. When risk justifies the removal of a dog guide or service animal from the workplace, efforts must be made to reasonably accommodate the person with the disability.
(4) Liability. Law other than the law against discrimination governs liability for injury or harm. Generally, a person with a disability using a dog guide or service animal is responsible for the animal and may be held liable for the behavior and actions of the animal.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120(3). WSR 99-15-025, § 162-22-100, filed 7/12/99, effective 8/12/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120(3) and 1997 c 271. WSR 98-08-035, § 162-22-100, filed 3/23/98, effective 4/23/98.]
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