ADA and Reasonable Accommodations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) , a qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that he or she holds or seeks, and who can perform the "essential functions" of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
The University is required to afford such individuals reasonable accommodations that will allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Cal Maritime is fully committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity for qualified applicants and/or employees with disabilities and engages in a timely, good faith, interactive process to determine effective reasonable accommodations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as Amended (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA also prohibits retaliation against an employee for taking any action pursuant to the Act.
Definition of Disability: The ADA states that an individual is disabled if she/he:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the individual’s major life activities;
- has a record of such an impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an
Definition of Qualified Individual: The term “qualified individual with a disability” means:
- An individual with a disability,
- Who can perform the “essential functions” of the employment position,
- With or without reasonable
Cal Maritime's Human Resources Benefits department serves as the University’s ADA facilitator and is responsible for working with employees via an interactive process to provide the request for accommodation forms, review and clarify if necessary the medical certification and facilitate the interactive process with employees and their management. During this process, we will determine the essential functions of the position, the precise job-related limitations, the potential reasonable accommodations that may enable the employee to perform the essential duties of the job and assessing the effectiveness of the accommodations.
A job accommodation is a reasonable adjustment to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform job duties. Accommodations may include specialized equipment, facility modifications, adjustments to work schedules or job duties, as well as a whole range of other creative solutions.
Employees seeking disability support and accommodation should contact the Benefits Coordinator, Kristen Bautista, firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 654-1146. The Benefits Coordinator has been designated as the campus authority to verify employee disabilities and to assist the appropriate department administrator with identifying specific accommodations for employees with documented disabilities. All accommodations are individualized based on the disability and the nature of the job.
The University will consider any requests or preferences stated by the employee, but the University has the ultimate discretion to select the appropriate effective accommodation based on legitimate business justification, including but not limited to cost and campus/workplace impact.
Self-Disclosure: In order to establish the existence of a disability and request reasonable accommodation under the ADA, an employee must complete and submit a Request for Disability Accommodation Form. The form can be submitted to the Department of Human Resources.
Faculty and Staff Accommodation Procedures
Human Resources Benefits may be directly contacted by a Cal Maritime employee. It is incumbent on the employee to provide adequate advance notice of requested disability accommodations to allow the University sufficient time to process the accommodation request.
Human Resources Benefits will contact the employee requesting disability accommodations to begin the interactive process. For workplace accommodations, the duration, frequency, and severity of the functional limitation may need to be confirmed by a medical provider to ensure the accommodation is addressed appropriately based on the employee’s functional limitations.
- Documentation of Disability: When an employee submits a Request for Disability Accommodation Form, the employee must provide, at their own expense, documentation for their disability in the form of a written evaluation by an appropriate health care provider (Verification of Disability & Authorization For Release of Medical Information). The employees’ health care provider must describe the following:
- Information regarding the employee’s medical disability outlining specific medical words and
- Outline the limitations caused by the disability and note recommended job
- Describe the length of time that the employee will need to have job accommodations due to the employee's disability.
- If a disability arises due to an incident, the employee’s medical provider should explicitly clear employee to return to work.
Temporary Accommodations: After consultation with the employee and the department chair or supervisor, the Department of Human Resources may provide the employee with a temporary accommodation pending receipt and evaluation of the documentation of the disability. The Department of Human Resources will notify the employee of the temporary accommodation to be provided.
Evaluation of Documentation: During the interactive process meeting, the employee and Human Resources Benefits officer will review the requested accommodation(s), documentation from the employee’s health care provider, as well as the employee’s job description, work hours, essential job duties, standard work equipment, work environment, and functional limitations. Employees requesting reasonable accommodations need to be deemed as qualified individuals who can complete the essential job functions. When appropriate, the Human Resources Benefits officer may work with Worker’s Compensation, or the appropriate FMLA administrator in Human Resources, to review and address the request.
Final Determination and Notification to Staff or Faculty Members: The University has the authority to make a determination regarding what accommodation, if any, is appropriate. When a final determination is made, the Department of Human resources will notify the employee of the determination, whether an accommodation has been granted, and if so, will specify what accommodation has been granted. The Department of Human Resources will also notify the employee’s department chair and/or supervisor if an accommodation is to be provided to the employee.
When appropriate, renewal of the accommodation request as well as updated documentation may be requested. The renewal of the accommodation request may vary based on the frequency, duration, and severity of the functional limitation(s) in relation to the employee’s essential job functions and may undergo an additional review through the interactive process.
The ADA file is maintained in Human Resources. The employee or Benefits officer may follow up to adjust the accommodation, as appropriate, based on the employee’s essential job functions and any changes to the severity, frequency, or duration to their functional limitations.
Human Resources Benefits officer may be directly contacted by the applicant. It is incumbent on employment applicants to provide adequate advance notice of requested disability accommodations to allow the University sufficient time to process the accommodation request during the recruitment process.
Human Resources Benefits officer will contact applicants requesting disability accommodations to begin the interactive process. If necessary, applicants may be requested to provide additional disability-related documentation in support of the accommodation request.
Human Resources Benefits officer will communicate approved reasonable accommodations to appropriate administrative office(s) and the applicant.