02.2.30 - Accommodations for Employees and Employment Applicants with Disabilities

Human Resources: Academic Freedom, Affirmative Action & Equal Employment

Last Updated: 08/12/2020

Original policy date: 08/01/1992

Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Residents & Clinical Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Fellows



Policy/Procedure Status, Date of Last Review

Current, as of August 12, 2020

Next Scheduled Review Date

June 30, 2023


I. Rationale
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for qualified employees and applicants with disabilities in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Consistent with the Policy Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (02.2.25), , BCM does not discriminate against qualified employees or applicants on the basis of physical or mental disability in recruiting, advertising, interviewing, hiring, promoting, compensating (including benefits), assigning, demoting, terminating or in any other aspect of employment. As part of this commitment, BCM also provides reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities to enable them to pursue positions for which they are qualified, or perform the essential functions of positions they hold or seek.
II. Stakeholders Affected by this Policy
Compliance with this policy is mandatory for all faculty and staff who are compensated by BCM. Depending on the nature of the issues, including the limitations and accommodations requested, resident and fellow physicians, postdoctoral trainees, and clinical postdoctoral fellows may be covered under this policy, or may have rights and benefits under other policies relevant to their role. Individuals in these categories who have questions about which policies and programs may apply may contact disability@bcm.edu. Students enrolled in any BCM school or program are not covered under this policy, and should instead refer to BCM’s Accommodations for Students and Program Applicants with Disabilities Policy (23.1.07), and contact the Director of Title IX & Disability Services or designee (Toni.Gray@bcm.edu or 713-798-8137) for questions about potential accommodations. Employees seeking accommodations unrelated to disability (e.g., religion, short term medical issues) may consult the Respectful and Professional Work Environment Policy: Standards for Employee Conduct (02.5.39).  
III. Definitions
IV. Policy
A.    The purpose of this policy is to provide a process for evaluating and providing reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position sought or held. 
B.    Reasonable accommodations are evaluated on an individualized basis, but may include modifications such as: making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by employees and applicants with disabilities; job restructuring; modifying work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; adjusting and modifying examinations, training materials, or polices; offering temporary leaves of absence that would enable an employee to return to work and perform all essential job duties; providing qualified readers or interpreters; and providing other reasonable accommodations based on the particular facts and circumstances, as long as the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship.
C.    Employees or applicants who require such accommodations must make their need for accommodation known to an appropriate member of management and/or Employee Relations, and will likely be required to provide supporting documentation from an appropriate health care provider of the existence of a disability, the nature and duration of any job-related limitations associated with that disability, and potential options for eliminating any workplace barriers through reasonable accommodations. Employees are expected to cooperate in this process by working with BCM to evaluate potential options and solutions, which in some cases may include agreeing to an effective reasonable accommodation other than the one originally sought.  
V. Responsibilities
The Employee Relations Department within the Office of Human Resources is responsible for overseeing stakeholder compliance with this policy, and investigation of alleged misconduct related to an employee’s disability status and making recommendations for appropriate resolution as provided in the Policy Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (02.2.25).   
VI. Procedures for Implementation and Review
A.    Candidates for Employment. When a qualified job applicant with a disability requests accommodation during the recruitment and selection process, and can be reasonably accommodated without creating an undue hardship or causing a direct threat, such accommodations will be made and the individual will be given the same consideration for employment as any other applicant.
1.     Interactive Process.
a.     Applicants who need assistance with accessing or reviewing BCM’s employment application may contact askrecruitment@bcm.edu. Disabled applicants who require assistance applying for jobs more generally may also be eligible for assistance from the Texas Workforce Commission.
b.     After applying to a position, if a qualified applicant is selected for an interview and seeks reasonable accommodation, the applicant should contact the Recruitment Team (askrecruitment@bcm.edu). The recruiter will forward the request to the relevant hiring managers for evaluation/accommodation.
B.    Employees.
1.     BCM will reasonably accommodate qualified employees with disabilities so that they can perform the essential functions of a job, unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others in the workplace, or the accommodation creates an undue hardship. The Employee Relations department manages the interactive process for qualified employees with disabilities. 
2.     Interactive Process.
a.     Submit the ADA Certification Form to disability@bcm.edu or by mail/in person to Employee Relations.
b.     After reviewing the request, the Employee Relations Department will engage in an interactive process with the employee, as well as the employee’s health care provider (if applicable), the supervisor, and other stakeholders, related to the requested accommodation(s).
c.     This interactive process review typically includes reviewing the Job Description, discussing the essential functions of the position, and discussing a variety of potential reasonable accommodations in the work setting.
d.     BCM will keep the employee informed about the outcome of this interactive process.
e.     At any point, if the employee’s accommodation needs change, the employee may revisit this process with BCM.
C.    Informal Consultation. Employees and qualified job applicants whose accommodation needs are not met or who need additional accommodations should contact Employee Relations for additional interactive discussions about whether other potential options may be available. . 
VII. Stakeholder Compliance
Any BCM Community Member who wishes to report a potential violation of this policy or report disability discrimination of any kind may contact the Human Resources Employee Relations Team directly, or make a report through the Integrity Hotline phone or website:   
·         Employee Relations: employeerelations@bcm.edu, or (713) 798-4346;
·         Integrity Hotline Phone: 855-764-7292, or Integrity Hotline Website: https://secure.ethicspoint.com (Enter “Baylor College of Medicine” as the Organization Name). 
VIII. Tools
·         ADA Certification Form;
·         Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Resources: What is Disability Discrimination and Harassment?
·         ADA A Guide to Disability Rights;  
IX. Related Policies
·         31.1.01 – BCM Code of Conduct;
X. Applicable Laws, Regulations & Standards
·         Rehabilitation Act of 1973;