The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and was amended on September 25, 2008 through the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The Act gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those rights provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex (Civil Rights Act of 1964). To be protected under the ADA, an employee or an applicant for employment must meet the definition of the term "disability," as stated in the law. Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has: (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices such as: recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, lay-off, pay, firing, job assignments, leave, benefits, and all other employment related activities. The university's search guidelines detail proper advertising, testing, interviewing and hiring procedures in accordance with the ADA. If an employee believes that he/she has been discriminated against based upon their disability, the employee can seek resolution of the problem following proper university procedures. Contact the Affirmative Action Officer for additional information. Employees may seek accommodation assistance by contacting the Director of Disability Services/University ADA Coordinator.
An employee/applicant is considered a "qualified individual with a disability" if the employee/applicant can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. An accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.
Standards for determining whether an accommodation to an otherwise qualified disabled employee/applicant is "reasonable" or imposes and "undue hardship" are adopted from the principles and considerations outlined in the College and University Personnel Association ADA Compliance Manual for Higher Education: A Guide to Title I, 1992 (Chapters 9 and 10).
For the accommodation to be "reasonable":
For the accommodation to impose an "undue hardship":
The following steps will be taken to ensure adequate documentation of any decisions regarding refusal to hire, promote or retain due to undue hardship. It will include, as a minimum, the following information:
The supervisor will submit through supervisory channels to the Office of Human Resources a detailed statement of justification for the decision regarding refusal to hire, promote or retain due to undue hardship. It will include, as a minimum, the following information:
The Office of Human Resources will review justification and consult with the supervisor, the Affirmative Action Officer, the employee/applicant, and other university/TBR officials as appropriate.
A written recommendation on the supervisor's request will be submitted to the Vice President for Finance & Administration and/or the President, as appropriate, for final decision.