Office of the Provost
Office for Equal Opportunity
Human Resource Services
Partner and Spouse Accommodation
In order to recruit or retain an employee, it is sometimes feasible for the University to find satisfactory employment for a partner or spouse.
Partner and spouse accommodation and assistance is a nonmandated program available throughout the multicampus University system to assist units in recruiting and retaining employees. No unit is required to participate in this program. Prospective employees are not to view partner and spouse accommodation and assistance as an entitlement.
NOTE: It is illegal to ask a job candidate if he or she needs partner or spouse accommodation. However, the appointing authority or employing official may provide the information included in this section (BPPM 60.15) and the candidate may then request consideration for such support. See BPPM 60.10 for definitions of appointing authority and employing official.
This policy applies to qualified individuals in accordance with EP15.
Partner in this policy is defined as domestic partner. The term domestic partner means “a person who is neither married nor related by blood to the employee, is the employee’s sole domestic partner, lives together with the employee in the same residence and intends to do so indefinitely, and is responsible with the employee for the other’s welfare.” This definition does not require registration of the domestic partnership as set forth in RCW 26.60.
A domestic partner relationship may be demonstrated by any three of the following types of documentation: a) joint mortgage or lease; b) designation of the domestic partner as beneficiary for life insurance; c) designation of the domestic partner as primary beneficiary in the employee’s will; d) domestic partnership legal agreement; e) powers of attorney for property and/or health care; f) joint ownership of a motor vehicle, checking account, or credit account; and/or registration of the domestic partnership as provided in RCW 26.60.
Initially, the University may attempt to find accommodation in existing vacancies. When a prospective employee expresses interest in University assistance in partner or spouse accommodation, the department provides information about existing vacancies.
If there are no appropriate existing vacancies, the Office of the Provost may assist with temporary employment. Temporary employment is supported by limited funds set aside for the purpose.
Hiring units must advise candidates of the time limits for temporary employment support. Support beyond the initial temporary employment period is available only if:
- The position becomes permanent and funding is available outside of the Office of the Provost,
- The hiring unit has planned for future permanent funding, or
- The individual secures alternate permanent employment.
The Office of the Provost is unable to fund all requests for temporary accommodation assistance; therefore, employment criteria have been established as follows:
- A faculty position in response to a tenure-track or tenured faculty hire or administrative hire,
- A nonfaculty position in response to a tenure-track or tenured faculty hire or administrative hire,
- Any position in response to a research or instructional faculty hire which may or may not be a permanent position,
- Any position in response to an employee hired in a faculty, administrative professional, civil service, or collective bargaining unit position, or
- Any position in response to a retention issue for a current employee.
NOTE: The above criteria are not always followed in the order shown.
There must be an appropriate fit between the qualifications of the candidate and the proposed position.
The University must benefit if the accommodation is provided.
After approval of the proposal, the Office of the Provost commits funding for temporary accommodation as follows:
- Two years for .50 FTE (matched by funds from the hiring or receiving unit), or
- Three years for .33 FTE (.67 FTE matched by funds from the hiring or receiving unit).
In any case, the Office of the Provost and the hiring or receiving department share the funding of the temporary accommodation position.
If the position is less than full-time, the funding support is prorated based on the formula described above. Either the hiring unit or the receiving unit may provide the funds to make the position full-time. A unit interested in pursuing a partner or spouse accommodation may provide funds to enable the temporary hire to take place in a different unit.
In general, units are to view partner or spouse accommodation as a University priority. A unit with available funds and a need for temporary assistance should be willing to participate in a temporary accommodation.
Any unused temporary accommodation funds revert to the Office of the Provost.
Approval by the Provost is contingent upon the availability of funds and the evaluation of the temporary accommodation proposal.
Units requesting temporary partner or spouse accommodation submit a written proposal through the responsible dean (or equivalent administrator) to the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition.
Units are to provide the following:
- An explanation of the situation.
- An explanation of how the University will benefit from the accommodation.
- The vita of the partner/spouse.
- A list of possible positions for consideration.
- The proposed time period of the temporary accommodation.
- The proposed salary.
- An explanation indicating why permanent funds are not available if there is a need for the position in an area.
- A statement indicating that the requesting unit will provide the required matching funds or an indication of the source of such matching funds.
- Information about potential future funding. NOTE: The goal is to move employees from temporary funds to permanent funds whenever feasible and appropriate.
Office for Equal Opportunity Review
The Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition submits copies of all accommodation requests to the Office for Equal Opportunity for review to ensure that requests conform to EEO policies and regulations.
Office for Equal Opportunity
The Office for Equal Opportunity maintains an updated list of regional colleges, universities, businesses, school districts, and other community agencies that may provide employment opportunities. Office for Equal Opportunity resources are available at the Office for Equal Opportunity website at:
Human Resource Services (HRS)
Resources regarding partner accommodation are available on the HRS website at: