Employees or applicants with disabilities who need reasonable workplace accommodations are responsible for making their needs known to their appropriate manager. Supervisors are responsible for properly responding to requests for accommodation from their employees by referring the employee to the Department of Accessibility Services to register their disability.  Departments should not manage the accommodation process. When an individual decides to request a workplace accommodation, the individual or his/her representative must let the employer know that s/he needs an adjustment or change at work due to a medical condition. Once the manager receives notification, then the supervisor should refer the employee to the Department of Accessibility to register with the office to clarify what the individual needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation.

An employer is not required to make an accommodation if it can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its everyday business needs. An undue hardship is an action that requires "significant difficulty or expense" in relation to:

  • overall size of the employer’s organization with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities and size of budget;
  • type of operation, including the composition and structure of the agency's workforce; and
  • nature and cost of the accommodation.

An employee with a disability who fails to meet performance standards or whose conduct on the job is inappropriate should receive the same treatment as an employee without a disability. In most cases, documentation of poor performance or misconduct should be maintained and the employee should be advised that there are issues of concern. As with any employee, this employee’s failure to address performance or conduct issues may result in verbal warning, written warning, suspension, administrative leave and even termination.

To determine eligibility for possible employment accommodations, an employee must submit disability verification to DAS and meet with the Associate Director. Unless the disability is obvious (e.g. a person who uses a wheelchair), DAS requires medical/psychological disability verification documentation prior to engaging in the interactive process with an employee.

The diagnosed condition must be determined by a licensed physician or other professional and may be submitted on the DAS's Medical Inquiry Form or a report generated from the licensed physician/professional. The diagnosed condition must state the nature of the disability and how it impacts the employee's ability to perform the job duties. For more information on medical/psychological documentation criteria, please review the documentation guidelines.

An individual who is granted a reasonable accommodation might not receive the exact form of accommodation requested by the medical provider.  The employer has the discretion to identify reasonable and appropriate alternatives based on the employee and employer needs.

Generally, the department in which the employee is assigned is responsible for any costs associated with implementing a reasonable workplace accommodation.  Applicants and employees are not expected or required to bear the costs of reasonable workplace accommodations. Please check with the senior department leadership, employee relations or human resources, to see how requests for accommodations are handled for your school or department.

Decisions on making accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered but are not limited to include: length of request, complexity of accommodation requested, and the business needs of the department.