4.13.2 Workplace Accommodation for Disabilities

A. Purpose

This policy sets forth the commitment of The University of Texas at Tyler to non- discrimination in the employment of persons with disabilities.

B. Authority/Persons Affected

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Titles I and V (ADA)

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, (ADAAA 2008) Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, Chapter 21, Texas Labor Code

Persons affected: Employees having a known physical or mental impairment as defined under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the ADA, the ADAAA (2008) and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, Chapter 21, Texas Labor Code.

C. Definitions

Disability: Any employee having a known mental or physical impairment that substantially limits at least one or more life activities of that individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Qualified Individual with a Disability: A qualified individual with a disability is an individual who meets all the skills, experience, knowledge, educational and other job requirements for the position and can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable accommodation: Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position he or she desires; modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or modifications or adjustments that enable U. T. Tyler employees with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

Applicant: Is a person that qualifies and officially applies for an available, posted, or an advertised position for employment with U. T. Tyler.

Essential job functions: Job functions which are fundamental to a position and which an employee must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.

Undue Hardship: Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of a number of factors. These factors include the nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, resources, nature, and structure of the University’s operation. Undue hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis.

D. Policy and Procedures

It is the policy of the U. T. Tyler to provide equal access and opportunity to employees having a known physical or mental impairment as defined under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008 (ADAAA), or the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. The U.T. System Administration prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all aspects of the application process and the employment relationship.

U. T. Tyler shall make reasonable workplace accommodation for any employee with a disability that does not constitute an undue hardship. Job postings will include a statement that all reasonable workplace accommodations may be requested by contacting Human Resources.

  1. Accommodation
    1. Reasonable accommodation will be made unless the departmental management can demonstrate that doing so would cause an undue hardship for the agency.
    2. If the department head believes that a requested accommodation would constitute undue hardship, he or she will submit a written statement of explanation. Undue hardship shall conform to definitions provided by the Courts, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. In determining whether an accommodation would impose an undue hardship, factors to be considered include, but are not limited to the nature and cost of the accommodation, financial considerations, the impact the accommodation upon the nature and operation of the department, and how the request affects the health and safety of other employees.
  2. Confidentiality of Records

    All offices and individuals responsible for reviewing and analyzing the request will maintain the confidentiality of all medical and ADAAA information concerning employees. Records will be kept separate from personnel files and will be accessible only to authorized personnel.

  3. Periodic Review

    If a reasonable workplace accommodation is implemented, Human Resources shall periodically confer with the employee with the disability to determine continuation or discontinuation of the workplace accommodation.

  4. Complaints

    Any employee who believes that he or she has been denied a reasonable accommodation, discriminated against on the basis of disability, or retaliated against due to an accommodation request may submit a complaint to Human Resources or may initiate a grievance in accordance with the U. T. Tyler grievance policy and procedures (Policy 4.19.1 ).

  5. Procedures

    1. Any employee requiring an accommodation shall notify his or her immediate supervisor as soon as practical and inform the supervisor of the nature of the disability.

    2. Any supervisor notified of a disability shall immediately report the request, in writing to the department head with a copy to Human Resources. The confidential memorandum shall state the name and title of the employee, the disability and date reported. A copy shall be provided to the employee. The employee shall provide a medical statement to Human Resources within a reasonable time from the date of notification. The medical statement shall contain a diagnosis, prognosis, and a description of the specific impairment(s), the major life functions or activities affected by the impairment and the degree of limitation to those functions and activities caused by the impairment. Human Resources may request that the employee submit additional medical information if information previously provided is incomplete, unclear or inconsistent. U. T. Tyler will be unable to grant a request for accommodation unless all the requested medical information is provided.

    3. Human Resources or a designee will analyze the request and confer with the employee to ascertain the employee’s requirements and input on a reasonable accommodation. Human Resources will prepare a written report including a recommendation concerning the request for reasonable accommodation no later than 15 workdays following the conference and will submit the report to the appropriate administrative officer or Vice President.

    4. Based on the relevant information provided in the report from Human Resources, the appropriate administrative officer or Vice President shall determine what, if any, reasonable accommodation will be made and shall convey it in writing to the employee within 15 workdays.

E. Responsibilities

See Policy and Procedures section.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by the Executive Director of Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.