The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Employee Reasonable Accommodations Policy

Unit:  Human Resources
Contact: Emily Marbutt
Title:  Human Resources Manager
Effective Date: 6/1/2017
Revision Date: 12/09/2020


 
 

Purpose

The University of Alabama recognizes that individuals with disabilities (and/or disabled veterans) may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in employment. The purpose of this policy is to help the University comply with applicable laws regarding the provision of reasonable accommodations for known physical and mental impairments of otherwise qualified individuals that substantially limit one or more major life activities, unless the requested accommodations would pose an undue hardship on the University, change the essential functions of the job or fundamentally alter the University’s programs and services.

The University complies with applicable laws and provides reasonable accommodations to applicants for employment and to its employees who are individuals with disabilities and/or disabled veterans. The University will not deny employment opportunities based on its need to make a reasonable accommodation to such an individual’s physical or mental impairment. The University provides reasonable accommodations:

  • when an applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply and/or compete for a job;
  • when a qualified employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job or to gain access to the workplace; and
  • when a qualified employee with a disability needs an accommodation to enjoy equal access to benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., information, trainings, office-sponsored events).

Policy

An accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. While there are some things that are not considered reasonable accommodations (e.g., removal of an essential job function, indefinite leave, or providing personal use items, such as a hearing aid, that is needed both on and off the job), reasonable accommodations can address most things that enable an individual to apply for a job, perform a job, or have equal access to the workplace and employee benefits. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, and may include, but are not limited to: acquisition or modifications of equipment or devices; adjustments or modifications of training materials or policies; changes in the physical layout of the work space; assistance accessing information on a University of Alabama webpage; or other accommodations that may be reasonable and appropriate.

The University has designated a Human Resources (HR) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator to coordinate requests for reasonable accommodation. In order to determine an effective and reasonable accommodation, the HR ADA Coordinator will engage in an interactive process with the applicant/employee. It is the applicant’s or employee’s responsibility to inform the HR ADA Coordinator that they need a reasonable accommodation in order to perform the essential job functions or to receive equal benefits, privileges, or terms and conditions of the application process or employment. Employees requesting reasonable accommodations must follow the Employee Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations. Applicants requesting reasonable accommodations must follow the Applicant Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations.

Additional information, including contact information for the HR ADA Coordinator, applicable forms and procedures, can be accessed through the HR ADA web page and the EOP Disability Accommodations web page

Discrimination against an applicant or employee based on an actual or perceived disability in employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, training, benefits and other conditions, is prohibited. Retaliation against an applicant or employee requesting an accommodation is prohibited.

Confidentiality

All medical information that the University obtains in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation is confidential and shall be kept in files separate from the individual’s personnel file. Any University employee who obtains or receives such information is also bound by these confidentiality requirements.

Notwithstanding these confidentiality requirements, the HR ADA Coordinator may share certain information with an employee’s supervisor, manager, Human Resources and/or other University official(s) as necessary to make appropriate determinations in response to a reasonable accommodation request. The HR ADA Coordinator will also notify the employee’s supervisor, manager, Human Resources and/or other University official(s) as necessary of the reasonable accommodation to be implemented. The information disclosed will be no more than is necessary to process and implement the request. No other disclosure of information will be made unless allowed or required by law.

Complaint

If an employee or applicant wishes to make a complaint about the manner in which an accommodation request was handled, or about perceived discrimination by the department against the applicant or employee based on the disability and/or request for accommodation, the complaint should be directed to the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity  and Title IX Programs. If the complaint arises out of actions of the Executive Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs, it should be filed directly with the Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations.

Scope

This policy applies to individuals with disabilities (and/or disabled veterans) that may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in employment.

 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 12/09/2020