LU Policy Number:HR.017
Effective Date: 03/01/19
Approval Date :04/04/19
Revised Date: N/A
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to assist the University in complying with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against applicants and employees with disabilities with regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
Additional Authority: Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq.), ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-325), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 701, et seq.)
Scope: This policy applies to all applicants for employment and to all employees and applies to all employment practices and actions.
Approval Authority: President
Responsible Authority: Director of Human Resources Recipients: Administration
Publications: University Policies & Employee Handbook Definitions:
Disability- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Essential functions- The fundamental duties of a job, as opposed to the marginal ones.
Major life activities- Activities that are of central importance to daily life, including but not limited to caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, working, and the operation of major bodily functions.
Qualified individual with a disability- A person who has a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires and who, with or without a reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job that the person holds or would like to hold.
Reasonable accommodation-Modifications to the job application process or to the work environment, or to the manner and circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the position, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by similarly situated employees without disabilities.
Undue hardship-Significant difficulty or expense incurred by the employer when considered in light of factors including, but not limited to, the nature and cost of the accommodation, the overall financial resources of the employer, the number of persons employed by employer, the effect on expenses and resources, the impact of the accommodation upon the employer’s operations, including the impact on other employees to perform their duties and conduct business.
Life University’s Accommodations for University Employees and Applicants Policy
Life University is committed to assuring equal employment opportunity in all its employment practices. The University complies with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”). The ADA provides that no covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures; the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees; employee compensation; job training; and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
Title I of the ADA and Section 504 require the University to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment unless such accommodation would cause the employer an undue hardship or would result in a direct threat to an employee with a disability or others. All employees are required to comply with University safety standards.
The ADA/504 Compliance Officer for purposes of this policy is: Debra Golymbieski, Employee Relations Officer, at 770-426-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A job applicant may request an accommodation to participate in the hiring process from the Human Resources Department by completing a Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form and submitting it to the Human Resources Department. The responsibility for requesting or initiating a request for a reasonable accommodation lies with the applicant with a disability.
Upon receipt of the Request for Reasonable Accommodation, the Human Resources Department will determine whether an accommodation is appropriate, and, if so, will determine the accommodation. If there is an expense related to the accommodation, the Human Resources Department will work with the hiring department for that department to cover the expense, or, at the University’s sole discretion, for the expense to be paid from another budget line of the University.
Summary of steps:
Applicant completes and submits a Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form to Human Resources Department
Human Resources will determine whether the requirements for an accommodation have been met and, if so, the specifics of the reasonable accommodation to be made
Human Resources will notify the applicant of the accommodation
An employee may request an accommodation by submitting a Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form to the Human Resources Department. The responsibility for requesting or initiating a request for a reasonable accommodation lies with the employee with a disability. The Employee Relations Officer will be the individual primarily responsible for administering this process on behalf of the Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department shall respond expeditiously to a request for an accommodation and will make initial contact with the employee within five (5) business days of the receipt of the application. Employees will be required to complete a Medical Inquiry Form and submit sufficient documentation of their disability from an independent, licensed healthcare provider (i.e., not a Life University employee or contractor). The Human Resources Department will promptly thereafter engage in an interactive dialogue process with the employee making the request. The employee is responsible for providing adequate documentation of the disability. The University will not conduct or pay for any evaluations to document a disability or need for an accommodation, unless a second opinion is needed.
The Human Resources Department will review submitted information and documentation and collaborate with other departments as necessary to determine whether the employee has met the requirements for a reasonable accommodation and the appropriate reasonable accommodation(s). When determining whether the employee is a qualified individual with a disability, mitigating measures will not be considered except as allowed by law.
Based on the documentation and information considered during the interactive accommodation process, if the Human Resources Department agrees that the requirements of the ADA have been met and that the requested accommodation is reasonable, the employee will receive written notice of the accommodation and the Human Resources Department, in conjunction with any other necessary department, will act promptly to provide the reasonable accommodation. If the provision of the accommodation requires the participation of other departments of the University, those departments will cooperate in a prompt and expeditious manner with the Human Resources Department. If it is determined that the accommodation is not justified, or the requested accommodation is not reasonable, then the Human Resources Department will provide the employee written notice of the denial of the request for accommodation. The Human Resources Department will issue determination notices within twenty (20) business days of the date the Human Resources Department receives the completed Medical Inquiry Form from the employee making the request. In cases where the employee fails to timely provide necessary documentation, the Human Resources Department may either deny the application or may keep the application open pending receipt of forthcoming documentation.
If there is an expense related to the accommodation, the department for which the employee works will be charged with the expense.
If an impairment is temporary or of unknown duration or there has been a change to the employee’s impairment, limitations, need for accommodation, ability to perform job duties, effectiveness of the accommodation, factors relating to undue hardship, or other relevant changes, then the University may request that an employee recertify their need for an accommodation.
Summary of Steps:
Employee submits a Request for Accommodation Form to the Human Resources Department
Within 5 days of receipt of the Request for Accommodation Form, a representative from Human Resources will make initial contact with the employee
Employee and employee’s medical provider will complete Medical Inquiry Form and submit it to the Human Resources Department
Employee and Human Resources will engage in interactive dialogue process
Human Resources will review all documentation and determine if the employee meets the requirements for a reasonable accommodation and the specifics of the reasonable accommodation
Human Resources will provide the employee with written notice of its determination regarding the accommodation within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the completed Medical Inquiry Form
If an accommodation is given, the Human Resources Department and other departments of the University will act promptly to provide the reasonable accommodation
Reasonable Accommodation Grievance Process
The grievance process is available to employees only, not to job applicants. An employee may file a grievance arising from the denial of an accommodation by filing a Reasonable Accommodation Grievance Submission Form with the Human Resources Department. The grievance will be heard by the Executive Vice President of Finance. A grievance may be filed for either of the following reasons: 1) the published process was not followed, or 2) new information, not previously available to the Human Resources Department, which may have affected the outcome of the determination made by the Human Resources Department, has become available.
A grievance must be filed within ten (10) business days of the determination giving rise to the grievance. The grievance must describe in detail the action or decision the employee alleges conflicts with his or her rights under the ADA, ADAAA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The employee should also submit other documentation to support his or her grievance. The employee must sign a release stating that he or she understands that his or her reasonable accommodation grievance will be reviewed and discussed by the Executive Vice President of Finance in order to allow him or her to determine how best to resolve the grievance. The Executive Vice President of Finance will sign a confidentiality agreement prior to reviewing any grievances.
The Executive Vice President of Finance will review the grievance as soon as possible, but no later than ten (10) business days after receipt of the grievance. The Executive Vice President of Finance may appoint a designee to act in his or her stead. The Executive Vice President of Finance will review all written materials submitted and any additional information he or she deems pertinent to the grievance. The Human Resources Department may be asked to provide the Executive Vice President of Finance with information regarding the grievance. After reviewing the written materials and any other pertinent information, the Executive Vice President of Finance will prepare his or her findings and recommendations concerning the grievance. The Executive Vice President of Finance will provide a written determination to the employee as soon as possible, but not later than three (3) business days after the Executive Vice President of Finance prepares his or her findings and recommendations. The determination of the Executive Vice President of Finance will be final.
This grievance process is for Reasonable Accommodation Grievances only. Allegations of disability-based discrimination may be reported and will be investigated in accordance with the University’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy.
The University strictly prohibits retaliation against an employee for engaging in protected activity under the ADA or Section 504.
Confidentiality and Record Keeping
All documentation submitted in relation to a Request for Reasonable Accommodation will be treated as confidential and the Human Resources Department will file them separately from personnel files. The University will retain the records for the time period required by law.
Complaints of disability-based discrimination should be made to the Life University Employee Relations Officer at (770) 426-2611 or to the Director of Human Resources at (770) 426-2629 and may be made to:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
100 Alabama Street, SW, Suite 4R30
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Atlanta Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education 61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927
FAX: 404-974-9471; TDD: 800-877-8339