Employee Disability Policy & Accommodation Request Procedure
Policy Statement: Lewis & Clark College is committed to equal opportunity and access for people with disabilities. In compliance with applicable state or federal law, the College does not exclude otherwise qualified persons with disabilities from participating in employment opportunities and College programs or activities.
An individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) who believes he or she was discriminated against by a faculty or staff member should use the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure. Retaliation against any employee or student for making a complaint is prohibited.
Summary of Applicable Law:
Section 504: The Rehabilitation Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States… shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
209 U.S.C.§ 794.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA provides a comprehensive statutory and regulatory approach to eliminating discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities.
Title I of the ADA applies to employment. Any “qualified individual with a disability” is entitled to reasonable accommodation under the ADA, provided the individual, “with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires,” (42 U.S.C. § 12111(8)), and provided that the accommodation does not create an “undue hardship” for the employer. 42 U.S.C. § 12111(10)(A).
Title III of the ADA applies to public accommodations and services operated by private entities like the College. The general rules of Title III provide: “No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodation of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases or operates a place of public accommodation.” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a).
Qualified Individual With A Disability
The regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education and under the
ADA broadly define a person with a disability as any person who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities, including among others, walking, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, and working; (2) has a record of a disability; or (3) is perceived to be disabled.
In the case of employment, to be “qualified,” a person with a disability must meet the legitimate job requirements and be capable of performing the essential functions of the job in question, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Procedure for Requesting Accommodation for Employment or Facilities Access
Lewis & Clark College will respond to and evaluate all requests to make a reasonable accommodation, modification or adjustment in College facilities, programs, policies, jobs, services and activities to ensure equal opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities. The “qualified individual” criterion and the “reasonable accommodations” requirement are interrelated. Therefore, each request for accommodation will be assessed individually, based on relevant circumstances and factors.
Any disabled person seeking a reasonable accommodation in connection with employment should contact the ADA Coordinator for assistance. The employee is also encouraged, but not required, to discuss the request with his/her supervisor. The employee is responsible to provide adequate notice, identify the disability and provide any necessary medical verification of a need for an accommodation. To request an accommodation, an employee must complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. The employee and his or her doctor may be asked to complete the Employee Disability Verification Form. In some cases, the ADA Coordinator may be able to determine eligibility without a doctor’s verification. The completed forms should be returned to the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources (MSC 72). Please call Human Resources (ext. 7835) for the forms.
Once the paperwork is completed and returned, the ADA Coordinator will work with the employee and appropriate College officials to determine whether a reasonable accommodation is available that will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The College may offer a reasonable accommodation other than the one requested by the employee if the College determines the alternative reasonable accommodation allows the employee to perform the essential job functions. The accommodation request and any personal health information will be kept confidential to the degree practical.
If the accommodation request relates primarily to barrier removal, facilities or physical accessibility at the College, the ADA Coordinator will consult with Facilities Services, the individual’s supervisor and any other relevant department or individual.
Accommodation Appeal Procedure
The appeal procedure is intended to provide a means for an individual to appeal an accommodation request decision or action. Lewis & Clark College will process the appeal in a manner that promotes the prompt and equitable resolution of complaint. Therefore, individuals with complaints should bring the request to the attention of appropriate College personnel as soon as possible after the action(s) prompting the complaint.
An employee must submit a written appeal for reconsideration within sixty (60) calendar days after the employee is notified of the ADA Coordinator’s accommodation decision. The employee must direct the appeal to the relevant Dean or Vice President with a copy to the ADA Coordinator. The appeal should be as detailed and accurate as possible and should specify the solution or resolution the employee seeks. It should also include all supporting information and documentation. The Vice President or Dean shall convene an ADA Appeal Committee within two weeks of receiving the complaint unless prohibited by unusual circumstances. The committee members may vary but typically include at least three individuals familiar with evaluating disabilities or disability accommodation requests. The committee shall hear testimony or receive written information from the appealing employee, the ADA Coordinator and any other person(s) with relevant information. The employee has the right to ask for testimony from any faculty, staff or other person(s) with relevant information. After hearing testimony and/or reviewing pertinent documents, the committee shall report its conclusions and recommendation in writing to the convening Dean or Vice President. The convening Dean or Vice President shall make the decision and that decision will be final. The convening Dean or Vice President will convey the decision in writing to the employee within one week of the committee meeting unless prohibited by unusual circumstances.
Approved by the Executive Officers, June 24, 2003.