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Human Resources

Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual:
Employment

Print friendly Modified July 31, 2012

Americans with Disabilities Act

Citation Reference  
Official Title Policy on American with Disabilities Act
Abbreviated Title American with Disabilities Act Policy
Volume Human Resources
Responsible Office Human Resources
Originally issued January 2009
Revised April 2009

Policy Statement

The University System of Georgia complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).

Reason for Policy

This policy ensures consistency in practices among institutions of the University System while affording the appropriate level of flexibility needed at the institutional level.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All units of the University System of Georgia are covered by this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

All Human Resources personnel and employees within the University System of Georgia should be aware of this policy.

Contacts

Contact Phone Email/URL
Office of Human Resources 404-962-3235 usg-hr@usg.edu
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers See University System HR Officer Listing at http://www.usg.edu/hr/officers/

Website Address for This Policy

None

Related Documents/Resources

Definitions

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:

  • Board of Regents: The governing body of the University System of Georgia

  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • ADAAA: Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008

  • Undue Hardship: an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

Overview

Federal law requires the University System of Georgia to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are disabled.

Process/Procedures

An individual with a disability is a person who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such an impairment; or
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
  • Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.
  • An institution is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business. Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.
  • An institution is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation; nor is an institution obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids.
  • The ADAAA expands the definition of “major life activities” by including two non-exhaustive lists:

    • the first list includes many activities that the EEOC has recognized (e.g., walking) as well as activities that EEOC has not specifically recognized (e.g., reading, bending, and communicating);
    • the second list includes major bodily functions (e.g., “functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”);

The ADAAA further states:

  • states that mitigating measures other than “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability;
  • clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
  • provides that an individual subjected to an action prohibited by the ADA (e.g., failure to hire) because of an actual or perceived impairment will meet the “regarded as” definition of disability, unless the impairment is transitory and minor;
  • provides that individuals covered only under the “regarded as” prong are not entitled to reasonable accommodation; and
  • emphasizes that the definition of “disability” should be interpreted broadly.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities each party has in connection with the Policy on the ADA are:

Party Responsibility
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, USG Maintain policy, provide guidance to institution human resources officers on effective utilization policy, and monitor campuses for compliance.
Institution Chief Human Resources Officers Ensure all managers are aware of this policy. Provide guidance to management on appropriate application of the policy. Ensure that an appropriate process or institutional level policy is in place to facilitate fair and equitable evaluations of requests for accommodations. Ensure appropriate documentation is maintained when necessary.

Forms

Sample Forms:

Appendices

None


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