Policies & Procedures

Procedure 81: Reasonable Accommodation

Other Policies

Procedure 81: Reasonable Accommodation


D. Definitions


  1. Interactive Process - is an ongoing dialogue between the employee and appropriate representatives of the University about possible options for reasonably accommodating the employee's disability. Options may include, but are not limited to: a modified work schedule; a leave of absence; reassignment; modified equipment; assistive devices; modification of existing facilities; and restructuring the job. Both the University and the employee are expected to participate in the interactive process.
  2. Medical Documentation - issued by a person who is licensed to practice medicine and prescribe and administer drugs or to perform surgery; or a person of the healing arts such as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, scientologist, naturopathologist, and Christian scientist that identifies the employee's functional limitations.
  3. Essential Functions - The fundamental (as opposed to the marginal) job duties of the employment position the individual holds or desires.
    • (a) A job function may be considered essential for any of several reasons, including, but not limited to, any one or more of the following:
      • (1) The function may be essential because the reason the position exists is to perform that function.
      • (2) The function may be essential because of the limited number of employees available among whom the performance of that job function can be distributed.
      • (3) The function may be highly specialized, so that the incumbent in the position is hired for his or her expertise or ability to perform the particular function.
    • (b) Evidence of whether a particular function is essential includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      • (1) The employer's judgment as to which functions are essential.
      • (2) Written job descriptions prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job.
      • (3) The amount of time spent on the job performing the function.
      • (4) The consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function.
      • (5) The terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
      • (6) The work experiences of past incumbents in the job.
      • (7) The current work experience of incumbents in similar job
  4. Job Analysis (JA) - A functional capacity analysis describing how the job duties are performed.
  5. Job Description (JD) - Identifies and describes the duties of the position, in terms of essential and marginal duties.
  6. Mental Disability - Includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
    • (a) Having any mental or psychological disorder or condition, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or specific learning disabilities, that limits a major life activity. For purposes of this Policy:
      • (1) "Limits" shall be determined without regard to mitigating measures, such as medications, assistive devices, or reasonable accommodations, unless the mitigating measure itself limits a major life activity.
      • (2) A mental or psychological disorder or condition limits a major life activity if it makes the achievement of the major life activity difficult.
      • (3) "Major life activities" shall be broadly construed and shall include physical, mental, and social activities and working. "Working" is a major life activity, regardless of whether the actual or perceived working limitation implicates a particular employment or a class or broad range of employment.
    • (b) Any other mental or psychological disorder or condition not described in paragraph (a) that requires special education or related services.
    • (c) Having a record or history of a mental or psychological disorder or condition described in paragraph (a) or (b), which is known to the employer.
    • (d) Being regarded or treated by the employer as having, or having had, any mental condition that makes achievement of a major life activity difficult.
    • (e) Being regarded or treated by the employer as having, or having had, a mental or psychological disorder or condition that has no present disabling effect, but that may become a mental disability as described in paragraph (a) or (b).

    "Mental disability" does not include sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from the current unlawful use of controlled substances or other drugs.

  7. Physical Disability - Includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
    • (a) Having any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss that does both of the following:
      • (1) Affects one or more of the following body systems; neurological, immunological, musculo-skeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.
      • (2) Limits a major life activity. For purposes of this Policy:
        • (i) "Limits" shall be determined without regard to mitigating measures such as medications, assistive devices, prosthetics, or reasonable accommodations, unless the mitigating measure itself limits a major life activity.
        • (ii) A physiological disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss limits a major life activity if it makes the achievement of the major life activity difficult.
        • (iii) "Major life activities" shall be broadly construed and includes physical, mental, and social activities and working. "Working" is a major life activity, regardless of whether the actual or perceived working limitation implicates a particular employment or a class or broad range of employment
    • (b) Any other health impairment not described in paragraph (1) that requires special education or related services.
    • (c) Having a record or history of a disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, anatomical loss, or health impairment described in paragraph (1) or (2), which is known to the employer.
    • (d) Being regarded or treated by the employer as having, or having had, any physical condition that makes achievement of a major life activity difficult.
    • (e) Being regarded or treated by the employer as having, or having had, a disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, anatomical loss, or health impairment that has no present disabling effect but may become a physical disability as described in paragraph (1) or (2).
    • (f) "Physical disability" does not include sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from the current unlawful use of controlled substances or other drugs.
  8. Qualified Individual with a Disability - A "qualified" individual with a disability is a person with a mental or physical disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position.

    Employees who are currently engaging in the illegal use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances are specifically excluded from this definition. Alcoholics are not specifically excluded from this definition. Therefore, the University may not make adverse employment decisions solely on the basis that an individual is an alcoholic. However, individuals whose current use of alcohol prevents them from performing their job duties are excluded from this definition.

    California law requires employers to reasonably accommodate any employee who wishes to voluntarily enter and participate in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program. In addition, employees who are currently participating in, or who have successfully completed, a supervised rehabilitation program and are no longer illegally using drugs are included within this definition.

    Employees who constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or others are excluded from this definition.

  9. Licensed Health Care Practitioner (per definition of Liberty Mutual's Supplemental Plan) - A person who is licensed to practice medicine and prescribe and administer drugs or to perform surgery; or a person of the healing arts such as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, scientologist, naturopathologist, and Christian scientist.
  10. Special Selection - Any employee who becomes disabled may be selected for a position which has not been publicized (see Staff Policy 20.B.3., Exceptions to Recruitment).

    An employee who becomes disabled may be selected for an open position for which they qualify, and may be considered for open positions over non-disabled applicants. The local Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, or an appropriate University representative, will assist the disabled employee with alternate job placement.

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