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Human Resources

CI Reasonable Accommodation Procedure for Employees and Applicants

Policy Statement

CSU Channel Islands (CI) is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. CI recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from university educational programs, services and activities, and to have equal employment opportunities. CI adheres to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as necessary to afford equal employment opportunity and equal access to programs for qualified persons with disabilities. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations and/or discrimination on the basis of disability should be directed to the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs, Room 1151, Solano Hall, (805) 437-8423, or by email to laurie.nichols@csuci.edu

Equal Employment Opportunity

CI provides equal opportunity to qualified persons with disabilities in all terms and conditions of employment and shall provide reasonable accommodations upon request to qualified persons with disabilities who are employees or applicants. Reasonable accommodations shall be provided in a timely manner.

Definitions

A comprehensive definition of the term disability for ADA and Fair Employment & Housing Act purposes is fully defined within California Government Code section 12926. A complete copy of this definition is available upon request. In general, disability means with respect to an individual:

  • a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities;
  • a record of having such an impairment;
  • being regarded as having such an impairment.

In addition, an individual may not be discriminated against due to association with a person who has, has a record of, or is regarded as having a disability.

A Qualified Person with a Disability is a person who satisfies the requisite skills, experience and other job-related requirements of the position and who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the job.

Essential Functions are job duties that are fundamental to the position, not marginal. Duties are WHAT must be accomplished, NOT HOW it is accomplished.

Reasonable Accommodation means modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified person with a disability to be considered for a position the person desires OR modifications or adjustments to the job, work environment, or the way in which work is customarily performed that permit a qualified employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

Procedures

Applicants for Employment

  1. All application materials shall be made available in alternative formats upon request and all position announcements shall include the following statement or its equivalent:
    • Application materials are available in alternative formats upon request to (name, address, phone number of contact person).
    • If a text telephone (TTY) number is available, it should also be included.
  2. All applicants invited for interviews shall be notified that they can request accommodations for a disability for the interview process and informed of the procedure for making an accommodation request.
  3. Requests for accommodations shall be made to an individual designated by the hiring department.
  4. The following paragraph or its equivalent shall be added to any correspondence scheduling an interview:
    • "It is the policy of California State University Channel Islands to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. If you need assistance or accommodations to fully participate in the interview process, please contact [name, phone number (TTY if available) of person responsible]. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make reasonable accommodations for a person's disability."
    • NOTE: The contact person for the accommodation request should NOT be a member of the search committee or in a decision-making position in the search process.
  5. If interviews are scheduled by telephone, all applicants shall be informed about the availability of reasonable accommodations in the interview process. The scheduler shall ask:
    • "Do you need any special accommodations to participate in the interview?"
  6. When a request for accommodation is received from an applicant, the contact person for the accommodation request shall contact Human Resources Programs for assistance. If necessary, Human Resources Programs will be told how to reach the applicant so that the needed accommodation and possible alternatives may be discussed.
  7. Human Resources Programs will evaluate the request and determine what, if any, accommodation is appropriate. Human Resources Programs may request documentation of the applicant's disability or disability-related limitations in accordance with the procedures for current employees.
  8. Human Resources Programs shall make a decision regarding the request and, if approved, take the necessary steps to ensure that the accommodation is provided. If the request is not approved, Human Resources Programs shall inform the applicant of the reason for denial of the requested accommodation, in writing, within three (3) working days of the decision.
  9. Applicants who have received job offers may make accommodation requests following the same procedure used for employees, outlined below.
    • NOTE: Information about an applicant’s disability or disability-related limitations is CONFIDENTIAL and may not be shared with search committee members or decision-makers in the hiring process.

Appeals and Grievances

If the individual denied an accommodation wishes to appeal that decision, s/he shall contact the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs to request a reconsideration of his/her accommodation request. The individual denied an accommodation must provide additional information for consideration as part of the appeal process. The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs shall review the accommodation request and make the final decision as to what, if any, accommodation should be provided. The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs shall communicate her/his decision in writing to the individual making the accommodation request and the contact person for the host department.

Current Employees

1. Procedure to take if either:

o     An employee who believes s/he needs a reasonable accommodation to enable her/him to perform the essential functions of her/his job shall inform her/his supervisor or manager of the need for an accommodation

o     If a supervisor or manager becomes aware of an employee's disability and it appears to be related to a performance issue, the supervisor/manager shall contact Human Resources Programs for assistance.

2. When an employee requests an accommodation, the supervisor shall notify Human Resources Programs and refer the employee to the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs for instruction and assistance.

3. The employee will meet with the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs who will explain the reasonable accommodation process and request the appropriate medical documentation.

4. The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs, in consultation with the employee, supervisor, and the person in the department who has the authority to approve accommodations, shall:

a.     Discuss the purpose and essential functions of the particular job involved. Completion of a step-by-step job analysis may be necessary;

b.     Determine the job-related limitation(s) created by the employee's disability, including requesting and evaluating documentation from the employee's medical professional;

c.     Identify the potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness of each in enabling the employee to perform the essential functions of the job; and,

d.     Recommend the accommodation that is most appropriate for both the individual and the employer. The appropriate administrator within the functional work area of the requesting employee shall approve or deny any employee accommodation request. This administrator will also serve as the subject-matter expert on the requesting employee's job duties. While the requesting employee's preference will be given consideration, CI is free to choose among equally effective accommodations.

5. The employee, supervisor/manager, and Associate Director of Human Resources Programs shall complete and sign a reasonable accommodation agreement detailing the accommodation to be provided. The employing department shall implement the agreed upon accommodation.

6. If the employee who requested an accommodation disagrees with the recommended accommodation, s/he may request that the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs reconsider his/her request.

7. After accommodations are provided, the employee and his/her supervisor must evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation within the timeline established by the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs. The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs and the appropriate human resources/personnel office will be involved in this process.

8. If at any time there is a question about the continuing nature of an employee's reasonable accommodation, the employee or the supervisor shall contact the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs.

o    NOTE: An employee does not need to use the phrase "reasonable accommodation." If an employee discloses a disability and requests assistance/adjustments of any kind, the supervisor or manager shall consider this a request for a reasonable accommodation and begin the accommodation process.

 o    NOTE: If a supervisor or manager becomes aware of an employee's disability and it appears to be related to a performance issue, the supervisor/manager shall contact Human Resources Programs for assistance.

 o    NOTE: Employing units shall contact the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs about all accommodation requests. Departments shall not make accommodation decisions without the involvement of Human Resources Programs and the involvement of the employee.

 

Medical Documentation

1.   The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs will request medical documentation from the employee and will request permission from the employee to contact her/his medical practitioner. Information from the employee’s medical practitioner is necessary to document the employee’s job-related limitation(s) and to assist in determining an effective reasonable accommodation for the employee. The employee requesting an accommodation is responsible for providing the medical documentation requested. Supervisors and managers will not be told about or have access to medical information unless the disability might require medical treatment. Supervisors and managers will be told about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and about possible accommodations.

2.   If the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs finds the documentation insufficient to provide accommodations, (The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines "insufficient" as follows: "Documentation is insufficient if it does not specify the existence of an ADA disability and explain the need for reasonable accommodation. Documentation also might be insufficient where, for example: (1) the health care professional does not have the expertise to give an opinion about the employee's medical condition and the limitations imposed by it; (2) the information does not specify the functional limitations due to the disability; or (3) other factors indicate that the information provided is not credible or is fraudulent." U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Enforcement Guidance: Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees Under The Americans With Disabilities Act, (2000) ), the Director will explain why the documentation is insufficient and request more complete information from the employee and, if the employee provides a written release, directly from the employee's medical practitioner.

3.   If the employee still fails to provide sufficient documentation from his/her health care professional to substantiate that s/he has a disability and needs a reasonable accommodation, CI may refuse to provide the accommodation or request the employee be examined by an appropriate health care professional of the University's choice and at the University's expense.

Decision-Making, Appeals and Grievances

If the employee who requested the accommodation disagrees with the final determination, s/he may file a complaint pursuant to the system-wide policy prohibiting unlawful discrimination and requiring reasonable accommodations for the disabled.

The employee may refuse an offered accommodation; s/he cannot be forced to accept a particular accommodation. However, the employee continues to be responsible for performing the essential functions of her/his job with or without an accommodation.

Evaluate Effectiveness of the Accommodation

After accommodations are provided, the employee and his/her supervisor must evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation. The Associate Director of Human Resources Programs and the appropriate human resources/personnel office should be involved in this process. The supervisor shall contact the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs within the timeline designated in the reasonable accommodation agreement to discuss the effectiveness of the accommodation. If modifications to the accommodation are needed, requests should be made using the above accommodation procedure.

If, at any time there is a question about the continuing nature of an employee’s reasonable accommodation, the employee or the supervisor shall contact the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs.

Documentation

Copies of correspondence and documentation related to the reasonable accommodation process shall be filed with the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs. No correspondence or documentation relating to the accommodation request is to be placed in an individual's personnel file. If a supervisor or manager receives medical or other documentation relating to a disability, that information must be transferred to the Associate Director of Human Resources Programs immediately. No disability documentation may be maintained in individual departments or divisions.

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