REG 05.00.02 – Reasonable Accommodations in Employment

Authority: Chancellor

History: First Issued: September 2, 1997. Last Revised: February 13, 2008.

Related Policies: 
NCSU REG02.20.01 – Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities 
NCSU REG05.25.01 – SHRA Employee Performance Pay Dispute Resolution 
NCSU REG05.25.02 – SHRA Grievance and Appeal

Additional References: 
ADA-001 Request for Eligibility Review Form
ADA-002 Documentation of Disability

Contact Info: ADA Coordinator/Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (919-515-3148)

1. Introduction

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and state law, North Carolina State University (hereinafter NC State) is required to accommodate an otherwise qualified individual with a disability by providing a reasonable accommodation in employment. Specifically, NC State is required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees with known physical or mental disabilities unless it can be demonstrated that the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the institution or lower quality or production standards. This regulation addresses the provision of a reasonable accommodation in employment.

2. Covered Individuals

All employees at NC State are covered individuals under this regulation. Applicants for vacant university positions who desire an accommodation in the application process should contact the ADA Coordinator.

3. Definitions

3.1 Disability: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

3.2 Essential Job Function: the fundamental job duty of a position an individual holds or desires. Essential functions are the primary job tasks in the position. Deciding what is an essential function will be determined by reviewing an employee’s job description and actual duties performed. A partial list of factors that can be considered in determining if a particular function is essential includes:

a supervisor’s judgment as to which functions are essential;

written job descriptions and specifications prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for a job;

the amount of time spent performing the function;

the consequences of not requiring a current employee to perform the function;

the work experiences of past employees in the job; and

the current work experience of incumbents in similar jobs.

3.3 Marginal Job Function: a job function that would be considered a secondary job task. Although important and necessary to the position, a marginal job function could be reassigned to others and/or are performed a lesser percentage of time as compared to the essential functions. Marginal job functions would be non-critical tasks.

3.4 Qualified Individual with a Disability: a person who satisfies the pre-requisites of a position desired or held and can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without an accommodation.

3.5 Reasonable Accommodation: any change or modification in the work environment that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.

3.6 Undue Hardship: a significant difficulty or expense of the university in providing a specific accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability. Undue hardship refers not only to financial difficulty, but also to reasonable accommodations that are unduly extensive, substantial, or disruptive, and/or those that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.

4. Reasonable Accommodation For Employees With Disabilities Procedure

The ADA Coordinator/Director of Disability Compliance Programs [“ADA Coordinator”] in the Office for Equal Opportunity has the responsibility of engaging in a deliberative process for determining whether an employee is a qualified individual with a disability for purposes of providing reasonable accommodations.

4.1 Eligibility Review Process

4.1.1 An employee with a disability who desires an accommodation to perform essential job functions must submit a Request for Eligibility Review Form (ADA-001) to the ADA Coordinator.

4.1.2 If the employee receives considerations during the period the request is under review, these considerations will be for the purpose of creating an environment where the employee can perform the essential requirements of the job while the eligibility review is pending. These considerations do not affect the eligibility decision that will come from the ADA Coordinator.

4.1.3 The employee must have his/her diagnostician submit disability documentation (ADA-002) directly to the ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator may require additional documentation from the diagnostician to make an eligibility determination.

4.1.4 The ADA Coordinator will notify the employee and the supervisor of the employee’s eligibility for an accommodation.

4.2 The Accommodation Interactive Process

If an employee is eligible for an accommodation and desires an accommodation, the employee must schedule a meeting with the ADA Coordinator who will facilitate an interactive process between the employee and supervisor to determine the accommodations that will be provided to the employee.

4.2.1 During the interactive process, the ADA Coordinator, as facilitator, is responsible for:

Ensuring that the parties understand the interactive process;

Offering suggestions for possible reasonable and effective accommodations that will allow the employee to perform the essential job functions of his/her particular job; and

Providing the document for signatures that outlines the accommodations that will be provided to the employee; and

Ensuring that the employee is provided with a written decision on the requested accommodation(s) within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 30 days from the date that the employee’s eligibility was determined.

4.2.2 During the interactive process, the employee is responsible for:

Stating how the disability limits his/her functioning in the job, and

Suggesting specific workplace accommodations that will allow him/her to perform the essential functions of the job.

4.2.3 During the interactive process, the supervisor is responsible for:

Analyzing the employee’s particular job to determine its essential functions;

Assessing whether or not the employee’s requested workplace accommodations are reasonable and if they will likely overcome the disability related limitations found in the workplace; and

Making the decision regarding what, if any, workplace accommodations will be implemented.

4.3 Reasonable Accommodations

4.3.1 Reasonable accommodations will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Altering existing facilities or work stations;

Offering a flexible or modified work schedule (with no loss in total hours worked);

Acquiring or modifying certain equipment or devices; or

Providing auxiliary aids and/or services.

4.3.2 The employee should request a review of accommodations if he/she becomes unable to perform the essential requirements of the job.

4.2.4 Confidentiality

While supervisors and the ADA Coordinator will know the functional limitations of an employee and the ADA Coordinator will have access to medical documentation regarding an employee’s diagnosis, the information will be kept confidential and only revealed to others on a “need to know” basis.

5. Grievance Procedures

If an employee believes that a determination under this regulation (regarding eligibility for a reasonable accommodation or provision of a reasonable accommodation) has been reached improperly or unfairly, the complaining employee may file a formal grievance through the established grievance procedures applicable to that classification of employee. Employees or applicants may also file charges of discrimination directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or, in the case of SHRA employees or applicants, they may appeal directly to the State Personnel Commission by filing a petition for contested case hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings no later than 30 calendar days from receipt of the decision(s).