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 Faculty Affairs.
Confidentiality regarding an employee’s disability and employment accommodation(s) must be maintained at all times. Confidentiality commences as soon as an employee discloses their disability to an EARC representative and/or to their 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:
- University Personnel;
- 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.