Last Revised: 27 February 2020

Refer Questions to: Director, Equal Opportunity Programs

Scope

This policy applies to all employees of Gallaudet University.

Policy

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other non-discrimination laws and regulations, Gallaudet University will not discriminate against an otherwise qualified person with a disability in any aspect of employment or deny access to any person with a disability in its programs, services, or public facilities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities when needed to assist employees in their employment and to other persons to enable them to benefit from University programs, services or public facilities. Furthermore, as the only institution of higher education in the world designed specifically to educate and serve deaf and hard of hearing persons, Gallaudet University is a leader in communication accessibility and promotes ASL communication among all members of the campus community.

In compliance with the D.C. Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and other applicable federal and local law, the University also provides reasonable, workplace accommodations for employees whose ability to perform job duties is limited because of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or a related medical condition.

Gallaudet also provides reasonable accommodation in accordance with its religious accommodation policy at A&O 4.17 – Religious Observances & Accommodation.

Gallaudet also will not discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis that they or their family members are victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, or stalking (“Domestic Violence Victims”). Gallaudet provides reasonable accommodations to such individuals when accommodation is necessary to ensure such individual (or the family member of such individual) safety and security, as long as the accommodation does not cause undue hardship.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration

Procedures

Procedures to Request Accommodations (Employees)

Gallaudet will attempt to make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities or Domestic Violence Victims who request such accommodations, where such accommodations do not impose an undue hardship on Gallaudet. Employees who believe they require an accommodation should make a request to the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs, who will work with the employee and appropriate management to explore potential accommodation options, in consultation with the appropriate unit administrator.

Gallaudet makes determinations about reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis considering various factors and based on an individualized assessment in each situation. The University is not required to provide an accommodation that imposes an undue hardship, fundamentally alters the nature of the program, service, or activity, or poses a threat to the health or safety of employees, students, or others. The University strives to make determinations on reasonable accommodation requests expeditiously, and will inform the individual once a determination has been made.

No reprisal or retaliation of any kind will be taken against any individual who requests an accommodation or has, in good faith, reported instances of or filed a complaint regarding discrimination or retaliation for making such requests. Gallaudet University is committed to taking appropriate action against those who violate its policy of non-discrimination. An employee who believes that he or she has been unlawfully denied a reasonable accommodation may meet informally with the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs, or use the procedures available under A&O 2.28 (Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure) or 4.41 (Dispute Resolution Procedures). Students should refer to the Student 504/ADA Grievance Procedures.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Director of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP)
    The Director of EOP is responsible for assuring that the intent and spirit of non-discrimination laws and regulations and affirmative action are followed at Gallaudet University. The EOP Director also serves as the ADA compliance officer, and, in this role, helps facilitate reasonable accommodations and administers complaint procedures.
  2. Unit Administrators
    Unit administrators are responsible for cooperating with the EOP Director and Human Resources for the effective and timely implementation of this policy.

Documentation
If an individual’s disability or need for accommodation is not obvious, medical or other appropriate documentation may be required, as permitted by law. If medical information is required, the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs will request that a Medical Certification Form be completed by the individual’s healthcare provider, substantially in the form at this link. If the individual fails to provide the requested information, the request for accommodation may be denied. Medical documentation is used to determine if the employee possesses an impairment that meets the legal definition of disability and to identify an effective accommodation.

If the documentation provided does not support the existence of a disability or the need for an accommodation, the employee may be asked to provide additional information.

Procedures for Breastfeeding or Lactation Break Requests

Employees who desire lactation or breastfeeding breaks/accommodations should contact the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs. Employees requesting such accommodations will be offered break time in a private (non-bathroom) space for expressing milk or breastfeeding in close proximity to the employee’s work area. Break time for expressing milk will, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Non-exempt employees taking break time to express milk will be paid to the extent they would have been paid to take a break for another reason. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an employee may, if desired, breastfeed her child in any public or private location where she has the right to be with her child.

Procedures for Requesting Accommodations for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Breastfeeding, or a Related Medical Condition

For accommodations relating to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or a related medical condition, please use the procedures set forth above for disability accommodations. Types of accommodations may include, for example, a modified work schedule and temporary transfers.