1,925: Definitions and Guidelines to Address the Needs of Employees with Disabilities

Revised: April 2020

I. Policy Statement
The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to providing a place of work and learning free of discrimination on the basis of a person's age, disability, whether actual or perceived by others (including service-connected disabilities), gender (including pregnancy related conditions), military status or military obligations, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, race, color, or religion. Where discrimination is found to have occurred, the University will act to stop the discrimination, to prevent its recurrence, to remedy its effects, and to discipline those responsible.  This policy does not address other aspects of the university’s disability-related efforts, such as student accommodations and accommodations for members of the public.

The University is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968

A. Section 12101(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act:"It is the purpose of this Act -...to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities."

B. Section  794(a)of the Rehabilitation Act:"No otherwise qualified, handicapped individual in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."

C. 24 CFR 100.5 of the Fair Housing Act:It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.  No person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real estate-related transactions."

The University is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodation s for qualified individuals with disabilities , unless doing so would impose an undue hardship for the University. Once the University is made aware of an employee’s need for an accommodation, the University may request documentation from an appropriately credentialed health care professional in order to determine a reasonable accommodation.  Each university position contain s specific requirements which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in determining whether an otherwise qualified individual with a disability can perform the essential functions or core duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation, and whether the requested accommodation imposes an undue hardship.  Employment requirements may be defined as essential functions or core duties of positions by the State, NSHE , the University , or applicable licensing or certification rules

II. Procedures and Definitions

The Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX is responsible for the coordination of requests from employees or applicants with qualifying disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act.  The Office houses the University’s ADA Coordinator (“Coordinator”) and is responsible for overseeing compliance with state and federal regulations. 

1. Individuals with Disabilities
The ADA broadly defines a covered disability in three different ways in terms almost identical to current federal law under the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.  Specifically, an individual has a covered disability if the individual either:
(1) "has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual"; or

(2) "has a record of such an impairment"; or

(3) "[is] regarded as having such an impairment."

2. Accomodation Requests

a. Generally, it is the employee’s responsibility to inform the University that an accommodation is needed to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. A request for an accommodation can be made at any time during the course of an individual’s employment. The request may be made to the employee’s supervisor, Human Resources, or Equal Opportunity & Title IX. Supervisors should encourage the employee requesting the accommodation to complete the online Accommodation Request Form found at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofNevadaReno&layout_id=2. The requesting employee should also be referred to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. Any medical information an employee chooses to disclose to their supervisor, HR representative, or Title IX representative, is confidential. This information will not be shared with other university employees except on a need to know basis as determined by the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX.

Likewise, it is the applicant’s responsibility to inform the University that an accommodation is needed in the application process. Applicants for university positions may request accommodation in the application and selection process to include testing and specialty requirements by contacting Human Resources at jobs@unr.edu. Where appropriate, Human Resources will refer the request to the Coordinator for further handling in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section III.

b. University Accommodation Committee

The University Accommodation Committee (“Committee”) is responsible for determining what reasonable accommodations, if any, the University should provide to the employee. The Committee, appointed by the Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs, shall include representatives from Human Resources, the Disability Resource Center, Risk Management, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, and appropriate subject matter experts. The Committee shall be advised by an attorney from the Office of General Counsel.

C. Documentation

When the need for an accommodation is not obvious or visible, the employee may be required to provide documentation regarding the impairment, the limitations resulting from the impairment, and the requested accommodation.  Documentation may include, but not be limited to, a diagnosis by a qualified health care professional, a prognosis of the condition, an analysis of the functional limitations imposed by the disability, and a recommendation for accommodation to enable the otherwise qualified employee to perform the essential functions or core duties of the position. 

D. Accommodation:
The University has an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act to provide "reasonable accommodations" to applicants or employees with qualifying disabilities unless doing so creates an "undue hardship" for the University.

III. Process for Requesting, Determining, and Providing Reasonable Accommodations

  1. Step 1: The employee requests that a supervisor, other university official, or the Coordinator consider an accommodation at work due to a qualified disabling condition. If the request is made to a supervisor or other university official, the supervisor or university official shall refer to the employee of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX.
  2. Step 2: Once the request is made or referred to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, the Coordinator will engage in an interactive process with the employee which may include consultation with the employee on the requested accommodation and consultation with the employee’s supervisor or other parties necessary to the determination. When the need for an accommodation is not obvious or visible, the Coordinator will ask the employee to provide documentation from a medical provider regarding the impairment, the limitations resulting from the impairment, and the requested accommodation
  3. Step 3: Once the Coordinator has received the request and any supporting documentation provided by the employee’s medical provider, the Coordinator presents the request and supporting documentation to the Committee. The Committee evaluates these materials and determines what reasonable accommodations, if any, should be made. In the event of a conflict of interest, e.g., the request is initiated by an employee from the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, the Disability Resource Center shall present the request and supporting documentation to the Committee and all conflicted individuals shall abstain from the review, evaluation, and determination process.  
  4. Step 4: The Coordinator will notify the employee, the supervisor, and other appropriate university official s who need to know, of any accommodation(s) of the approved by the Committee. The supervisor or other University official shall be responsible for implementing the approved accommodations as soon as reasonably possible. The cost of accommodation, if any, shall be shared equally by the dean or vice president and the Office of the Provost.  The supervisor or other university official shall notify the Coordinator that the accommodation has been implemented. 
  5. Temporary Modifications: When appropriate, the Coordinator or Committee may approve a temporary accommodation (generally for a period of 45 days or less). Temporary accommodations approved by the Coordinator shall be reviewed by the Committee at the next regularly-convened session. Situations that may warrant the approval of a temporary accommodation include, but are not limited to:
    1. Requests involving employee emergency absences, e.g., hospitalizations
    2. Requests requiring immediate accommodations during the period before the committee can be convened
    3. Accommodations needed while Coordinator or Committee is researching a permanent accommodation solution
  6. Requests that a decision made by the University Accommodation Committee be reconsidered shall be made directly to the Committee within 15 business days of receipt of the Committee’s decision. An employee may appeal the Committee’s decision on a request for reconsideration. The appeal shall be made in writing to the Office of the Provost within 30 business days of receipt of the Committee’s decision on the employee’s request for reconsideration.
  7. The Coordinator may review the implementation of any approved accommodation as needed.

IV.  Complaints Alleging Discrimination on the Basis of Disability

Complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability shall follow the procedures specified in the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 8, Section 13.