Disabilities: Accommodating Employees

Type: 
Procedure
Category: 
Human Resources
Department: 
Human Resources
Phone: 
(541) 463-5583
Primary Contact: 
Dennis Carr
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Chief Human Resources Officer
Purpose: 

Employees are expected to perform the essential functions of the position for which they were hired, with or without reasonable accommodations. Human Resources (HR) is responsible for determining an employee's eligibility for accommodations and for implementing those accommodations and services according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Managers are responsible for complying with the provisions of these laws. It is the purpose of this procedure to outline steps an employee should take when requesting an accommodation, and steps managers should take when such a request is received. This procedure also outlines the process an employee should use if making a complaint.

Narrative: 

Human Resources (HR) is responsible for determining an employee's eligibility for accommodations and for implementing those accommodations and services according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Managers are expected to comply with the provisions of this law in all areas of employment, including:

  1. Recruitment and hiring;
  2. Compensation;
  3. Promotion and reclassification;
  4. Job assignments;
  5. Job descriptions;
  6. Leaves of absence, sick leaves;
  7. Fringe benefits; and
  8. Training and professional development opportunities.

Employees who have a medical condition that is affecting the performance of essential job functions should consider discussing the problem with their supervisor or the HR ADA Coordinator.

Essential Functions 

Job functions which are fundamental to a position and which an employee must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.  A job function may be essential because:

  1. It is the sole reason the position exists;
  2. There are a limited number of employees, so the function cannot be assigned to someone else;
  3. It is a highly specialized function that the incumbent was hired to perform because of his or her specialized skills;
  4. The amount of time spent performing the function is significant; or
  5. The consequences of not performing the function are serious.

Essential job functions are identified in each position description.

Reasonable Accommodation 

A modification or adjustment to the job application process, work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enables a qualified individual with a disability to be considered for the position, or to perform the essential functions of that position. 

Reasonable accommodations are also modifications or adjustments that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment that are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees who do not have a disability.

A particular accommodation request may not be granted if it presents an undue hardship, meaning significant difficulty or expense to the College.

Reasonable Accommodation Procedures for Employees

Step 1 (Informal) - Supervisor

An employee may make an oral or written request directly to his/her immediate supervisor or to the HR ADA Coordinator.  The supervisor will meet with the employee to discuss an accommodation and will consult with the HR ADA Coordinator after receiving an accommodation request.

Step 2 (Formal) – HR ADA Coordinator

  1. If possible, the employee should complete the Request for Accommodation Form and submit it to the HR ADA Coordinator. Discussions regarding accommodation will not be delayed pending receipt of a completed "Request for Accommodation" form.
  2. The HR ADA Coordinator may require the employee to submit documentation regarding the disability and the requested accommodation. To expedite the request, the employee should have his/her physician complete the Medical Inquiry Form.  If possible the employee should provide a copy of his/her position description to the physician along with the form.
  3. Both forms (the Request for Accommodation and Medical Inquiry) and other supporting documentation should be sent to the HR ADA Coordinator.
  4. The HR ADA Coordinator or designee will objectively investigate the request, meet with the employee and supervisor if necessary, and review any supporting documentation.

After completing the accommodation review, the HR ADA Coordinator or designee shall prepare a response to the employee's request. The response will be prepared within 30 calendar days unless an extension is requested. The response will go to the employee and employee's supervisor. The HR ADA Coordinator or designee will work with the employee and the supervisor to implement any agreed accommodation, to monitor the effectiveness of the accommodation and to update it periodically if needed.

An employee may revisit an accommodation with the HR ADA Coordinator and/or the employee's supervisor if needed.

Step 3: Review Process

If the employee is not satisfied with the results of the accommodation request, he/she can make a written appeal to the Chief Human Resources Officer within 14 calendar days unless an extension is requested.  The Chief Human Resources Officer shall issue a written response within 14 calendar days of receiving the appeal unless an extension is requested.

Step 4: Formal Complaint Procedure

The employee may use the Americans With Disabilities Act Complaint Procedure.

Student Requests

Contact the Disability Resources Office with your questions and comments.  See also Disabilities: Academic Accommodations for Students.

Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2009