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Responding to Accommodations
When an employee contacts you to request a job modification or accommodation, immediately contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA). Your department must engage with the employee and the EOA in the "interactive process" before providing and accommodation. The EOA first determines whether the employee has a qualifying disability; if so, the EOA facilitates a process between the employee and the department to ascertain whether or not reasonable accommodation can be made. As needed, the EOA may also help your department identify and/or secure resources for an agreed-upon accommodation.
Faculty members and department staff should work with Disability Access Services to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities. Visit the Disability Access Services Website for information about making your classes and materials accessible to the largest number of students.
Departments should work directly with visitors/conference attendees/job applicants to accommodate their needs. Units seeking sign language interpreters should contact Disability Access Services. If a department is unable to provide accommodation, it may request assistance from the EOA. For information on publicizing events and ensuring access for the campus community and visitors read the Guidelines for Providing Notice of Access (.pdf).
Any information you receive regarding the disability of a student or employee should be kept confidential and shared only on a strict need-to-know basis.
RULES AGAINST ACQUIRING GENETIC INFORMATION?
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual. There are six narrow exceptions to this prohibition:
- Inadvertent acquisitions of genetic information do not violate GINA, such as in situations where a manager or supervisor overhears someone talking about a family member’s illness.
- Genetic information (such as family medical history) may be obtained as part of health or genetic services, including wellness programs, offered by the employer on a voluntary basis, if certain specific requirements are met.
- Family medical history may be acquired as part of the certification process for FMLA leave (or leave under similar state or local laws or pursuant to an employer policy), where an employee is asking for leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Genetic information may be acquired through commercially and publicly available documents like newspapers, as long as the employer is not searching those sources with the intent of finding genetic information or accessing sources from which they are likely to acquire genetic information (as websites and on-line discussion groups that focus on issues such as genetic testing of individuals and genetic discrimination).
- Genetic information may be acquired through a genetic monitoring program that monitors the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace where the monitoring is required by law or, under carefully defined conditions, where the program is voluntary.
- Acquisition of genetic information of employees by employers who engage in DNA testing for law enforcement purposes as a forensic lab or for purposes of human remains identification is permitted, but the genetic information may only be used for analysis of DNA markers for quality control to detect sample contamination.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF GENETIC INFORMATION
GINA also prohibits a covered entity from disclosing genetic information about applicants, employees, or members. Covered entities must keep genetic information confidential and in a separate medical file. (Genetic information may be kept in the same file as other medical information in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.) There are limited exceptions to this non-disclosure rule, such as exceptions that provide for the disclosure of relevant genetic information to government officials investigating compliance with Title II of GINA and for disclosures made pursuant to a court order.
If you have questions or wish to request training for your unit, you may contact:
- Disability Access Services at 541-737-3669 for questions dealing with services to students and classroom instruction; or,
- The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at 541-737-3556 for general information and training, reasonable accommodation requests, dedicated parking, and financial resources for providing accommodation.