As an employee of the University, our institution wishes to support you in being able to perform the essential duties of your job with maximum efficiency, effectiveness and safety. As such, you are encouraged to discuss with your immediate supervisor any reasonable adjustment and/or modifications to your working conditions which you believe will enable you to perform your job with increased effectiveness/efficiency/safety. Your supervisor will take your suggestions into consideration and may arrange adjustments in your working conditions if the adjustments are considered to be reasonable. However, the supervisor and the University are not obligated under any law or regulation to adopt any changes in working conditions or job description solely based on the request of the employee.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee who voluntarily chooses to disclose a physical, mental and/or emotional disability which prevents the employee from accessing equal access and/or opportunity in relation to other employees who are not disabled has the right to request an employer to make a reasonable accommodation in it’s policies, practices, procedures and/or the working conditions which will serve to provide equal access and the ability to successfully meet the job requirements of the job description. Under the law, the employer must make every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of the employee with the self-disclosed disability to be able to perform the essential job functions of the position.
Under the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment as diagnosed by a qualified medical professional that substantially limits a major life activity and which is of a permanent or chronic nature. If the diagnosed condition negatively impacts the ability to perform the essential job functions of the employee’s job description, then the employee has the right to request accommodation and the employer has the obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation (although not necessarily the accommodation requested) which will enable to the employee to successfully meet the job function requirements and which does not create an “undue business hardship” for the employer. An undue business hardship would be an accommodation which poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others, which requires the employer to provide an accommodation which is unreasonable or substantially disruptive from a financial or administrative standpoint, or which requires the employer to violate another law or regulation or to violate the fundamental mission of the organization. The employer is also not required to provide personal services or equipment although it may choose to do so if the provision does not constitute an undue hardship.
An employee who chooses to self-disclose a disabling condition in order to request an accommodation under the ADA should do so by having a treating medical professional fill out and provide to the Office of Human Resources a “DePauw University Medical Inquiry Form in Response to an Accommodation Request”.
The Office of Human Resources will review the form, consult with the supervisor and reporting department while simultaneously making every effort to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the employee, dialogue with the employee, and arrive at an accommodation which will enable the employee to meet the job function requirements of the job description.
It is important to note that the employer may choose to terminate an employee if the reason for termination is unrelated to the disability, if the employee fails to meet the essential requirements of the job (with or without accommodation), if the employee poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of the workplace or if a workplace infraction is related to a disability which has not been disclosed.
Questions regarding this policy and the process for filing a request for an accommodation should be made to the Office of Human Resources.