49.17.060  <<  49.17.062 >>   49.17.064

EmployerPublic health emergencyInfectious or contagious diseasesPositive testsReporting, duty, and procedure.

(1) During a public health emergency:
(a) An employer with more than 50 employees at a workplace or worksite, within 24 hours of confirming that 10 or more of their employees at the workplace or worksite in this state have tested positive for the infectious or contagious disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, must report the positive tests to the department in a form prescribed by the department.
(b) The department must consult with the department of health on the infectious or contagious disease that is the subject of the public health emergency:
(i) Before issuing regulatory guidance, rules, directives, or orders for health care facilities under this section; and
(ii) When investigating health care entities and issuing citations under this section.
(c) The report required in (a) of this subsection may not include any employee names or personal identifying information.
(2) The department may use the reports in subsection (1) of this section to identify potential clusters of infections at specific workplaces or industries and investigate workplaces for violations of this chapter.
(3) During a public health emergency, the name, email and residential addresses, license plate number, and other personally identifiable information regarding employees of the department are exempt from disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW to the extent that the disclosure would violate their right to privacy or pose a risk to their personal safety or security.
(4) This section does not require an employee to disclose any medical condition or diagnosis to their employer.
(5) This section does not alter or eliminate any other reporting obligations an employer has under state or federal law.
(6)(a) During a public health emergency, no employer may discharge, permanently replace, or in any manner discriminate against an employee who is high risk as a result of the employee:
(i) Seeking accommodation that protects them from the risk of exposure to the infectious or contagious disease; or
(ii) If no accommodation is reasonable, utilizing all available leave options, including but not limited to leave without pay and unemployment insurance, until completion of the public health emergency or accommodation is made available.
(b) This subsection (6) does not alter or diminish any existing remedy available to the worker under current state or federal law.
(c) For the purposes of this subsection (6), "an employee who is high risk" means an employee who:
(i) Due to age or an underlying health condition, is at a high risk of severe illness from the disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, as defined by the centers for disease control and prevention; and
(ii) A medical provider has recommended the employee's removal from the workforce because of their high risk of severe illness.
(7) For the purposes of this section, "public health emergency" means a declaration or order concerning any infectious or contagious diseases, including a pandemic and is issued as follows:
(a) The president of the United States has declared a national or regional emergency that covers every county in the state of Washington; or
(b) The governor of Washington has declared a state of emergency under RCW 43.06.010(12) in every county in the state.


Short titleEffective date2021 c 252: See notes following RCW 51.32.181.
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