Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question: What is an employment accommodation?
Answer: "In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities."Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act"
Question: I have a disability/medical condition. Am I eligible for employment accommodations?
Answer: An employee with a disability is entitled to an accommodation only when the accommodation is needed because of the disability. In order to be eligible for employment accommodations, an employee must (1) qualify as a person with a disability under the FEHA and/or the ADA; (2) be a qualified SJSU employee that can perform the essential functions of the job; and (3) demonstrate the functional limitations of the condition present a workplace barrier. Additionally, to receive employment accommodations, the accommodations must be determined reasonable and appropriate, which requires the EARC to engage in the interactive process with the employee and the employee's direct manager/supervisor. To determine eligibility for possible employment accommodations, an employee must submit disability verification to the EARC and meet with an EARC representative. Please see the Register webpage for more information.
Question: When can I request employment accommodations?
Answer: Employment accommodations can be requested at any time.
Question: What is required to verify my disability?
Answer: Unless the disability is obvious (e.g., a person who uses a wheelchair), the EARC requires medical/psychological disability verification documentation prior to engaging in the interactive process with an employee. The diagnosed condition must be determined by a licensed physician or other professional and may be submitted on the EARC Medical/Psychological Verification Form. The documentation must show that the employee has a disability as defined under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act and how it impacts the employee's ability to perform his/her job duties.
Question: How do I request employment accommodations?
Answer: SJSU employees requesting employment accommodations have two options: (A) an employee may go directly to his/her manager/supervisor to begin the interactive process discussion (the employee is advised to not disclose the details of his/her disability/medical condition to his/her manager/supervisor, but to alert the manager/supervisor of his/her request for accommodation); OR (B) employees may contact the EARC directly to request accommodation. Employees requesting accommodations through the EARC must register with the EARC by (1) submitting the required documentation and (2) scheduling an intake appointment with an EARC representative following the submittal of required documents by calling the EARC at (408) 924-6003. Refer to the Register webpage for a step-by-step guide to the EARC employee registration/employment accommodation request process. Note: This registration process does not apply to employees requesting a disabled parking permit only. For employees requesting only a disabled parking permit as an employment accommodation, please refer to Disabled Parking.
Question: Who needs to know about my disability?
Answer: All information forwarded to the EARC is kept in a confidential file and is held separate from Human Resources' and Faculty Affairs' personnel files. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has established that the employer (the EARC in this case) has the right to require medical verification of a disability. Upon request from an employee with a disability for employment accommodations, the EARC will invoke the interactive process with the employee and his/her respective manager/supervisor. The EARC will consult with Human Resources and Faculty Affairs on a case-by-case basis to determine and recommend reasonable and appropriate employment accommodations. Additionally, the employee is advised to not disclose the details of his/her disability/medical condition to his/her manager/supervisor, but to alert the manager/supervisor of his/her request for accommodation.
Question: If I have a complaint or grievance should I go to the EARC?
Answer: An employee with a complaint related to a disability/medical condition should schedule an appointment to meet with an EARC representative. An employee with a complaint or a grievance related to his/her job or manager/supervisor should contact Faculty Affairs (for faculty) or Human Resources (for staff).
Question: How often must I request employment accommodations?
Answer: When the need for modifications to existing prescribed employment accommodations arise due to a change in disability status and/or changes in the essential job functions, an employee should schedule an appointment with the EARC to reevaluate/request new/modified accommodations. If there is no change to disability status or essential job functions, accommodations remain in place according to the criteria/duration specified in the employee's accommodation letter from EARC. An employee requesting continued student assistant funding as an accommodation must submit requests on a yearly basis according to the fiscal year.
Question: How often must I update my medical/psychological documentation?
Answer: Documentation must be current based on the date of diagnosis or assessment, not the date of submission to the EARC. The EARC reserves the right to request additional and/or current disability information on a case-by-case basis.