UPPS 04.04.60 - Workplace Accommodation
UPPS No. 04.04.60
Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 9/15/2017
Next Review Date: 7/01/2019 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/ADA Coordinator
- This policy describes procedures for requesting employment accommodations based on disability-related needs. Texas State University does not discriminate in the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of employees with disabilities.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – The ADA, signed into law on July 26, 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, programs, and services provided by state and local governments, goods, and services provided by private companies and in commercial facilities.
According to the ADA, a person with a disability is anyone who:
has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
has a record of such impairment; or
is regarded as having such an impairment.
A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
Texas State recognizes that employees with disabilities may have special needs for which accommodations may be necessary in order for the employee to perform the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations for employees may include, but are not limited to:
making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
part-time or modified work schedules;
reassignment to a vacant position;
acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;
appropriate adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials, or policies; and
provision of qualified readers or interpreters.
Texas State employees who require use of a service animal must demonstrate that the service animal is needed as a reasonable accommodation that is linked to their specific disability, as outlined in the Procedure for Service or Assistance Animals at Texas State.
PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS
Employees with disabilities who may require accommodations should follow the procedures outlined in this policy. It is the responsibility of the employee to make his or her needs known to Texas State in a timely manner. Failure to do so may delay the requested accommodation.
The ADA coordinator is available to meet with any employee with a disability who plans to make a request for accommodations in order to assist the employee to explore accommodation options. This link provides contact information and additional details related to services of the ADA coordinator: https://www.sdi.txstate.edu/About/ADAWorkplaceAccommodations.html.
An employee with a disability who seeks an accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of the job may initiate the accommodation process by making a verbal or written request to any one of the following: his or her immediate supervisor, the ADA coordinator, or a member of the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team (WAIT), which includes representatives from Student Affairs, Human Resources (HR), and Equity and Access (E&A).
Before the ADA coordinator acts on an accommodation request, the employee must provide a written request for an accommodation. To determine the appropriate accommodation, the ADA coordinator or a member of WAIT will enter into an interactive process with the employee. The ADA coordinator or WAIT’s interactive process will include:
meeting with the employee to identify limitations and possible accommodations;
notifying the supervisor that employee has made a request for accommodations;
working with the employee on an accommodation plan;
meeting with the supervisor and employee to discuss the workplace accommodation plan before the Workplace Accommodation Agreement is signed by employee and supervisor;
implementing agreed-upon accommodations, if possible;
meeting with the employee, as required, to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations; and
modifying accommodations to make them more effective, as necessary.
The documentation of a disability should be addressed to the ADA coordinator and must meet the criteria outlined in the Workplace Accommodation Disability Documentation Guidelines.
When directing an accommodation request to the ADA coordinator, the employee should include the following:
documentation of need that is the basis of the request;
a description of the desired accommodation;
an explanation of how the request relates to the disability;
a description of what steps have been attempted to address the need for which the accommodation is now requested, if applicable; and
possible alternatives if the requested accommodation or configuration is not possible.
PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
The ADA coordinator will retain the permanent confidential disability accommodation file on the employee.
The ADA coordinator, in consultation with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) or WAIT, will review the employee’s disability documentation and request for accommodation to determine if an accommodation is appropriate.
If warranted, the ADA coordinator, in consultation with ODS or WAIT, will draft a Workplace Accommodation Agreement that specifies the nature of the accommodation to be provided, the effective date, and the end date of the accommodation, if applicable. The employee, employee’s supervisor, dean or director, and the ADA coordinator or a member of WAIT will sign the completed agreement. The agreement will be forwarded to the division vice president for signature and final approval.
PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING JOB ACCOMMODATIONS
The employee’s director or department head is responsible for any costs associated with providing job accommodations and may recommend an alternative accommodation to that proposed by an employee as long as it allows the employee to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
If the director or department head determines that the cost of the requested accommodation creates financial hardship to the department, he or she may refer to the next level of supervision. If necessary, the divisional vice president will review the nature and cost of the accommodation to determine applicable resources for the accommodation.
The employee’s vice president will determine whether a requested accommodation will amount to an undue hardship. In making this determination, the vice president will consider the factors in the laws and regulations. The Texas State University System (TSUS) associate general counsel will provide these factors upon request.
If the employee is not satisfied with the ADA coordinator’s, WAIT’s, or the director’s or department head’s response, he or she can:
appeal in writing to the divisional vice president within ten working days of receiving the response; or
follow UPPS No. 04.04.46, Prohibition of Discrimination, to reach resolution of the complaint.
The divisional vice president must respond in writing to the employee no later than ten days after receipt of the accommodation appeal as outlined in these procedures or as outlined in UPPS No. 04.04.46, Prohibition of Discrimination. Regardless of which process the employee elects to follow, the divisional vice president’s response is final.
- This policy will be disseminated to all new employees by HR at New Employee Welcome, and annually to all employees electronically.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/ADA Coordinator July 1 E2Y Director, Office of Disability Services July 1 E2Y Assistant Vice President for Human Resources July 1 E2Y Chief Diversity Officer and Director, Equity & Access July 1 E2Y TSUS Associate General Counsel July 1 E2Y
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs /ADA Coordinator; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Vice President for Student Affairs