At SJSU, the EARC is the administrative office charged with collecting confidential
medical and professional verification of an employee’s disability. The EARC maintains
confidential employee files; these files are kept separate from Human Resources and
Confidentiality regarding an employee’s disability and employment accommodation(s) must be maintained at all times. Confidentiality commences as soon as an employee discloses his/her disability to an EARC representative and/or to his/her manager/supervisor. Upon the recommendation of reasonable and appropriate employment accommodation(s), confidentiality is maintained throughout the duration of employment at SJSU.
The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) defines confidentiality as follows:
“Under the ADA, medical information must be kept apart from general personnel files as a separate, confidential medical record. Access to medical information is limited to the following: Supervisors and managers may be informed about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and necessary accommodations…” (www.jan.wvu.edu)
Additionally, coworkers are often curious about why one employee is receiving something that other employees do not receive. JAN refers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which suggests that a manager/supervisor "explain that it is acting for legitimate business reasons or in compliance with federal law." (www.jan.wvu.edu)
Release of Information
Employees requesting employment accommodations are asked to sign a Release of Information Form (included in the EARC Intake Form) allowing the EARC to consult with the following departments/individuals, if necessary, to prescribe, implement, and/or maintain reasonable and appropriate employment accommodations:
- Human Resources;
- Faculty Affairs;
- direct manager/supervisor;
- primary physician/treating professional; and/or
- other individuals who need to know enough about an employee's status as an employee with a qualified disability and/or the functional limitations of the condition to participate effectively in discussions regarding possible employment accommodations or implementation/maintenance of prescribed accommodations.