Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 07/10/2008
Review: July 1 E2Y
01. POLICY STATEMENT
01.01 This UPPS describes procedures for requesting employment accommodations based on disability-related needs. Texas State does not discriminate in the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of employees with disabilities.
02. DEFINITION OF TERMS
02.01 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) - The ADA, signed into law on July 26, 1990, prohibits 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.
02.02 According to the ADA, a person with a disability is anyone who:
a. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
b. has a record of such impairment; or
c. is regarded as having such an impairment.
02.03 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.
02.04 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 duties of their job. Reasonable accommodations for employees may include, but are not limited to:
a. making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
b. job restructuring;
c. part-time or modified work schedules;
d. reassignment to a vacant position;
e. acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;
f. appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies;
g. provision of qualified readers or interpreters.
02.05 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 Procedures for Service Animals at Texas State University-San Marcos (Attachment I).
03. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS
03.01 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.
03.02 The Director of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) 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.
03.03 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 his or her immediate supervisor and a member of the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team, which includes representatives from the ODS, Human Resources (HR) and Equity and Access (E&A).
03.04 Before the Interactive Team acts on an accommodation request, the employee must provide documentation of an impairment and a written request for an accommodation. To determine the appropriate accommodation, the Team will enter into an interactive process with the employee. The Team’s interactive process will include:
a. Meeting with the employee to identify limitations and possible accommodations;
b. Evaluating the feasibility of identified accommodations;
c. If possible, agreeing with the employee on accommodations and implementing agreed-upon accommodations;
d. Meeting with the employee, as required, to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations;
e. If necessary, modifying accommodations to make them more effective; and
f. If the Team and the employee do not agree on an accommodation, allowing the employee to appeal to the employee’s vice president within 10 days of the Team’s accommodation decision. The vice president will respond to the appeal within 10 days of receiving a written appeal.
03.05 The documentation of disability should be addressed to the Director, Disability Services and the employee’s supervisor and must meet the criteria outlined in the Workplace Accommodation Disability Documentation Guidelines (see Attachment II).
03.06 The accommodation request should be addressed to the Director of the ODS and include the following:
a. documentation of need that is the basis of the request,
b. a description of the desired accommodation,
c. an explanation of how the request relates to the disability,
d. if applicable, a description of what steps have been attempted to address the need for which the accommodation is now requested, and
e. possible alternatives if the requested accommodation or configuration is not possible.
04. DETERMINING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
04.01 The employee’s supervisor must retain copies of all disability documentation and written requests for accommodation for an employee in a confidential file separate from the employee’s personnel file during the accommodation review process. The supervisor will provide the original documentation to the ODS and that office will maintain a permanent confidential disability accommodation file on the employee. The supervisor is responsible for destroying his or her records after the accommodation review process is complete.
04.02 The ODS, in consultation with the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team, will review the employee’s disability documentation and request for accommodation to determine if an accommodation is appropriate.
04.03 If warranted, the ODS, in consultation with the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team, will draft a Workplace Accommodation Agreement (see Attachment III) that specifies the nature of the accommodation to be provided, the effective date, and the end date of the accommodation if applicable. The employee, the employee’s supervisor, dean or director, and a member of the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team will sign the completed agreement.
05. PROVIDING JOB ACCOMMODATIONS
05.01 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 if it allows the employee to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
05.02 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.
05.03 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 University Attorney will provide these factors upon request.
06. APPEAL PROCEDURES
06.01 If the employee is not satisfied with the Workplace Accommodation Interactive Team and director’s or department head’s response, he or she can:
a. appeal in writing within 10 working days of receiving the response to the divisional vice president, or
b. follow UPPS No. 04.04.46, Prohibition of Illegal Discrimination or Harassment Based on Race, Color, National Origin, Age, Sex, Religion, Disability, or Sexual Orientation, to reach resolution of the complaint.
06.02 The divisional vice president must respond to the employee in writing no later than 10 days of receipt of the accommodation appeal as outlined in these procedures or as outlined in UPPS No. 04.04.46. Regardless of which process the employee elects to follow, the divisional vice president’s response is final.
07. POLICY DISSEMINATION
07.01 This policy will be disseminated to all new employees by Human Resources at New Employee Orientation, and annually to all employees electronically.
08. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
08.01 Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Director, Office of Disability Services July 1 E2Y
ADA Coordinator July 1 E2Y
Director, Human Resources July 1 E2Y
Director, Equity & Access July 1 E2Y
University Attorney July 1 E2Y
09. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT
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.
Director, Office of Disability Services; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Director of Multicultural Student Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs