The accommodation of an employee with disability policy provides information that addresses who is eligible to receive accommodations, the process by which employees can request accommodations, and the expectations of supervisors and managers in engaging in the accommodation process to determine what accommodations are appropriate.
All qualified employees with disabilities, including regular, full-time, part-time, temporary, casual or limited employees, are eligible to request workplace accommodations. An employee is considered to have a disability under this policy if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, or if he or she has a record of such impairment.
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.
An employee is considered qualified if he or she has the requisite skills, experience and education to perform the job, and is able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without permission.
The Accommodation Process
The accommodation process of determining what accommodations are reasonable and appropriate for an employee with a disability is done on a case-by-case basis and involves the employee, the supervisor/manager, and Labor and Employee Relations.
Making a Request
An employee is generally responsible for indicating their need for accommodation. To initiate the process, the employee must submit an Accommodation Request Form (access this form via TUportal > Staff Tools > Forms channel) to Labor and Employee Relations. If an employee makes a request for accommodation to someone other than our staff, such as a supervisor or manager, these individuals should forward the request to our office for review.
The Labor and Employee Relations Department will request documentation of the condition and information on why the accommodation is necessary from an appropriate medical or mental health provider. If the initial documentation provided by the healthcare provider is not sufficient, the employee will be notified and informed of what additional information is needed. The employee is then responsible for obtaining the missing information from the healthcare provider. Except as required by law, diagnosis information and disability documentation is not shared with the employee’s supervisor or manager. Documentation is maintained securely in our office and does not become part of the employee’s personnel file.
After receiving sufficient documentation, Labor and Employee Relations will contact the employee's supervisor/manager to explore whether the requested accommodation is reasonable. An accommodation is not considered reasonable if it will create an undue hardship to the university. Examples of accommodations that pose an undue hardship include, but are not limited to, accommodations that are unduly costly, extensive, or will alter or remove an essential function of the employee’s job. The determination of whether a requested accommodation is an undue hardship is a fact-specific inquiry that must be made on a case-by-case basis. In the event that the requested accommodation is found to be unreasonable, the parties are expected to work together to determine what, if any, alternative accommodations may meet the employee’s needs. After the parties have agreed on what accommodations are reasonable, our office will provide an accommodation approval letter.
Both the employee and the supervisor/manager may request a review of the accommodations at any time. An employee’s receipt or denial of an accommodation is not a preventation from making another request at a later date if a change is needed. Similarly, supervisors and managers may request a review of the approved accommodations if they believe that the business needs of the department currently make them unreasonable.
Accommodation Requests in the Prehire Process
Individuals with disabilities applying for positions in the university may request any accommodations they require to have an equal opportunity to participate in the prehire process. Applicants who require an accommodation should contact the appropriate divisional office as noted on the job posting to make their request. Supervisors, managers and human resources staff may contact the Labor and Employee Relations Department if they are unsure whether or not an accommodation requested during the prehire process is reasonable, or if they require resources on how to fulfill the applicant’s request.
If an employee makes a request that the individual believes is reasonable and it is denied, or if an employee’s approved accommodations are not implemented, the employee may contact Temple University's office of Equal Opportunity Compliance to file a complaint.
For questions regarding the university's workplace accommodation policies, call 215-926-2290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.