Americans with Disabilities Act
LSU Health Sciences Center
- New Orleans Procedures for processing requests for reasonable
Louisiana State University
(LSU) Health Sciences Center is an equal opportunity employer
and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. We want
to have the best available persons in every job. LSU Health
Sciences Center policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based
on race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, physical
handicap, disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or
any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local
laws. All such discrimination is unlawful.
LSU Health Sciences Center is
committed to complying with all applicable laws providing equal
employment opportunities to all individuals. That commitment
applies to all persons employed by LSU Health Sciences Center
and prohibits unlawful discrimination by all employees,
including supervisors and co-workers.
To comply with applicable
laws insuring equal employment opportunities to qualified
individuals with a disability, LSU Health Sciences Center will
make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental
limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a
disability who is an applicant or an employee unless undue
hardship would result.
The Rehabilitation Act
Amendments of 1992 amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29
U.S.C. §§ 701-97 (1988 & Supp. IV 1992), to apply the
substantive standards of Title I of the ADA to section 501, 503,
and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for non-affirmative action
employment discrimination cases. Sections 501, 503, and 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act prohibit federal agencies, federal
contractors, and programs receiving federal financial assistance
from discriminating on the basis of disability.
If you believe you have been
subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination, provide a
written complaint to the Department of Human Resource Management
as soon as possible. If the complaint relates to personnel of
the Department of Human Resource Management, provide your
complaint to the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance
or to the Chancellor. Your complaint should be specific and
should include the names of the individuals involved and the
names of any witnesses. LSUHSC will immediately undertake an
effective thorough and objective investigation and attempt to
resolve the situation.
Louisiana State University
Health Sciences Center has adopted procedures for processing
requests for reasonable accommodations by employees and
applicants with disabilities as required by Executive Order
13164. The Order helps to implement the requirement of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that agencies provide reasonable
accommodation to qualified employees and applicants with
LSU Health Sciences Center
will identify the barriers that make it difficult for the
applicant or employee to have an equal opportunity to perform
his or her job. LSU Health Sciences Center will identify
possible modifications or adjustments, if any, that will help
eliminate the limitation. If the accommodation is reasonable
and will not impose an undue hardship, LSU Health Sciences
Center will make the accommodation.
Requests should be addressed
to the Labor Relations Manager, Department of Human Resource
Management, 568-8742, who has been designated to coordinate ADA
Any individual who requires
a modification or adjustment in order to perform the essential
functions of the job should specify in writing or verbally,
their name, address and what modification or adjustment he or
she needs to perform the job.
investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of
modification or adjustment. A written determination as to the
validity of the modification or adjustment and a description
of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the ADA
Coordinator and a copy forwarded to the applicant or employee
no later than five (5) working days after its request. Where
there is a delay in either processing a request for, or
delivering, a reasonable accommodation or adjustment, the
individual will be notified of the reason for the delay and a
date on which the process is to be completed.
the disability and/or need for accommodation or modification
is not obvious, or if information already submitted by the
individual is insufficient to make a determination, the
individual may be asked for information about the disability,
the activities it limits, and the need for accommodation or
modification. Failure to provide necessary documentation
where it has been properly requested could result in a denial
of the reasonable accommodation or modification.
the individual has provided insufficient documentation from
his/her own health care or other appropriate professional to
substantiate the existence of a disability and the need for
reasonable accommodation or adjustment, LSUHSC may request
that the individual be examined by a physician of its choice
at its expense. Where medical examination is warranted,
failure to agree by the individual could result in a denial of
the reasonable accommodation or adjustment.
Reassignment will be considered as a reasonable accommodation
or adjustment only to employees, not to applicants, if it is
determined that no other reasonable accommodation(s) or
adjustment(s) will permit the employee with a disability to
perform the essential functions of his or her current
position. Reassignment may be made only to a vacant position.
If a request has been
denied, the individual will be notified in writing identifying
the reason(s) for the decision and by whom the decision(s)
were made. The individual has the right to file complaints in
the Equal Employment Opportunity process and other statutory
processes, as appropriate, if their requests for reasonable
accommodation(s) and/or adjustment(s) are denied.
THE AMERICANS WITH
DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
TITLE I: THE EMPLOYMENT
INTRODUCTION Title I of the ADA
prohibits discrimination in employment against qualified
individuals with disabilities and affects virtually every aspect
of the employment relationship. An employer may not deny
an employment opportunity because an individual, with or without
a disability, has a relationship or association with an
individual who has a disability.
Title I was effected on July
26, 1992, for employers with 25 or more employees, and on July
26, 1994, for employers with 15 or more employees.
EEOC is the enforcement
agency making it relatively simple and inexpensive for aggrieved
individuals to assert rights created by the Act. For Federal
contractors, an agreement of understanding exists between the
EEOC and OFCCP for enforcement.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
extends provision of compensatory and punitive damages to people
who charge intentional discrimination on the basis of disability
under the ADA. Damages are limited to $300,000 for employers
having more than 500 employees.
43 million Americans with
disabilities will be covered under the ADA. Advocacy Groups are
making a concerted effort to educate these individuals as to
their rights and methods of recourse under the ADA. Some groups
will take an active role in litigation. It is anticipated that
litigation will significantly increase.
DEFINITIONS Disability – 1) a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more major life activities; 2)
having a record of such an impairment; 3) being
perceived as having such an impairment.
Physical Impairment –
any physiological disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement,
or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body
systems; neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs,
respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular,
reproductive digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic,
skin, and endocrine.
Mental Impairment –
any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental
retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental
illness, and specific learning disabilities.
A person’s impairment is
determined without regard to any medication or assistive devise
that s/he may use.
Example: A person who
has epilepsy and uses medication to control seizures, or a
person who walks with an artificial leg would be considered to
have an impairment, even if the medicine or prosthesis reduces
the impact of the impairment.
An impairment under the ADA
is a physiological or mental disorder; simple
physical characteristics, therefore, such as eye or hair color,
left-handedness, or height or weight within a normal range, are
not impairments. A physical condition that is not the result of
a physiological disorder, such as pregnancy, or a predisposition
to a certain disease would not be an impairment. Personality
traits such as poor judgment, quick temper or irresponsible
behavior, are not themselves impairments. Environmental,
cultural, or economic disadvantages, such as lack of education
or a prison record also are not impairments.
Example: A person who
cannot read due to dyslexia is an individual with a disability
because dyslexia, which is a learning disability, is an
impairment. But a person who cannot read because s/he dropped
out of school is not an individual with a disability, because
lack of education is not an impairment.
“Stress” and “depression” are
conditions that may or may not be considered impairments,
depending on whether these conditions result from a documented
physiological or mental disorder.
Example: A person
suffering from general “stress” because of job or personal life
pressures would not be considered to have an impairment.
However, if the person is diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having
an identifiable stress disorder, s/he would have an impairment
that may be a disability.
A person who has a contagious
disease has an impairment. For example, infection with HIV is
Major Life Activity
– functions such as caring for oneself, walking, speaking,
breathing, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, learning,
working, sitting, standing, lifting, reading.
– unable to perform or be significantly limited in the
ability to perform an activity compared to an average person in
the general population. Three factors to be considered are: 1)
nature and severity; 2) duration or expected duration; 3)
permanent, expected or long term impact.
impairments that do not last for a long time and that have
little or no long-term impact usually are not disabilities.
with a Disability – an individual with a disability who
satisfies the position’s job-related skill, experience, and
education requirements, with or without reasonable
accommodation, and can perform the essential job functions.
The employer has an
obligation to consider applicants and make decisions without
regard to an individual’s disability, or the individual’s need
for reasonable accommodation. There is no obligation to
prefer applicants with disabilities over other applicants on
the basis of disability.
Essential Functions – fundamental
job duties of the employment position the individual with a
disability holds or desires. This term does not include
the marginal functions of the position.
EXCLUSIONS A person who currently illegally uses drugs. However, persons
who have rehabilitated; who are in a supervised drug
rehabilitation program; or are erroneously regarded as using
drugs are not excluded.
Sexual behavior disorders, such
as transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, or
voyeurism. (Homosexuality and bisexuality are not such
disorders but are also not disabilities).
kleptomania, or pyromania.
resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
alcoholic is a person with a disability under the ADA and may be
entitled to consideration of accommodation if s/he is qualified
to perform the essential functions of a job. However, an
employer may discipline, discharge or deny employment to an
alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance
or conduct to the extent that s/he is not “qualified”.
Example: If a person
who has alcoholism often is late to work or is unable to perform
the responsibilities of his/her job, an employer can take
disciplinary action on the basis of the poor job performance and
conduct. However, an employer may not discipline an alcoholic
employee more severely than it does other employees for the same
performance or conduct.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF A JOB
Essential functions are
those tasks that are fundamental and not marginal
to a job. The first consideration is whether employees in
the position are actually required to perform the function.
If a person holding a job does perform a function, the next
consideration is whether removing that function would
fundamentally change the job.
regulations list several reasons why a function could be
The position exists to
perform that function.
are a limited number of other employees available to perform
the function, or among whom the function can be distributed.
function is highly specialized, and the person in the position
is hired for special expertise or ability to perform it.
The regulation lists several
types of evidence to be considered in determining whether
a function is essential. The list includes:
The employer’s judgment.
A written job description
prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for a
The amount of time spent
performing the function.
The consequences of not
requiring a person in this job to perform a function.
The terms of a collective
Work experience of people
who have performed a job in the past and work experience of
people who currently perform a similar job.
Nature of the work
operation and the employer’s organizational structure.
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION OBLIGATIONS
An employer must provide a
reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental
limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a
disability unless it can show that the accommodation would
impose an undue hardship on the business.
The obligation to provide a
reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment.
This duty is ongoing and may arise any time that a person’s
disability or job changes.
An employer cannot deny an
employment opportunity to a qualified applicant or employee
because of the need to provide reasonable accommodation, unless
it would cause an undue hardship.
An employer does not have to
make an accommodation for an individual who is not otherwise
qualified for a position.
Generally, it is the
obligation of an individual with a disability to request a
A qualified individual with a
disability has the right to refuse an accommodation. However,
if the individual cannot perform the essential functions of the
job without the accommodation, s/he may not be qualified for the
If the cost of an
accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer,
the individual with a disability should be given the option of
providing the accommodation or paying that portion of the cost
that would constitute an undue hardship.
WHAT IS A REASONABLE
Reasonable accommodation is
any modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice,
or the work environment that makes it possible for an individual
with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.
Accommodations may include:
Making facilities readily accessible to
and usable by an individual with a disability.
Restructuring a job by reallocating or
redistributing marginal job functions.
Altering when or how an essential job
function is performed.
Part-time or modified work schedules.
Obtaining or modifying equipment or
Modifying examination, training
materials or policies.
Providing qualified readers and
Reassignment to a vacant position.
Permitting use of accrued paid leave or
unpaid leave for necessary treatment.
Providing reserved parking for a person
with a mobility impairment.
Allowing an employee to provide
equipment or devices that an employer is not required to
An employer is not required
to make a reasonable accommodation if it would impose an
undue hardship on the operation of the business. An undue
hardship is an action that requires “significant difficulty
or expense” in relation to the size of the employer, the
resources available, and the nature of the operation. The
concept of undue hardship includes any action that is: unduly
costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or that would
fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. In
general, a larger employer would be expected to make
accommodations requiring greater effort or expense that would be
required of a smaller employer.
APPLICATIONS AND JOB
Before making a job offer, an
ask questions about an applicant’s ability to perform specific
make an inquiry about a
ask all applicants to describe or
demonstrate how they will perform a job, with or without an
If an individual has a known
disability that might interfere with or prevent
performance of job functions, s/he may be asked to describe or
demonstrate how these functions will be performed, with or
without an accommodation, even if other applicants are not
asked to do so; however
If a known disability would
not interfere with performance of job functions, an
individual may only be required to describe or demonstrate how
s/he will perform a job if this is required of all applicants
for the position.
ask the number of days an
applicant was absent from work because of illness or whether
an applicant will need to request leave for medical treatment
or for other reasons related to a disability.
The interviewer may provide
information on the employer’s regular work hours; leave
policies, and any special attendance requirements (provided
that the requirements actually are applied to employees in a
Information about previous work
attendance records may be obtained on the application form, in
the interview or in reference checks, but the questions should
not refer to illness or disability.
If an applicant has had a poor
attendance record on a previous job, s/he may wish to provide
an explanation that includes information related to a
disability, but the employer should not ask whether a poor
attendance record was due to illness. For examples, an
applicant might wish to disclose voluntarily that the previous
absence record was due to surgery for a medical condition that
is now corrected, treatment for cancer that is now in
remission or to adjust medication for epilepsy, but that s/he
is now fully able to meet all job requirements.
make a job offer that is
conditioned on satisfactory results of a post-offer
medical examination or inquiry. Information from such
inquiries or examination must be handled according to the
strict confidentiality requirements of the ADA.
All medical information must
be maintained in a medical file in a separate, locked cabinet,
apart from the location of personnel files, designating a
specific person or persons to have access to the file.
information must be kept confidential, with the following
Supervisors and managers may be informed
about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of any
employee and necessary accommodations.
First aid safety personnel may be
informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require
emergency treatment or if any specific procedures are needed
in the case of fire or other evacuations.
Government officials investigating
compliance with the ADA and other Federal and state laws
prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability or
handicap should be provided relevant information on request.
Relevant information may be provided to
state workers’ compensation offices or “second injury” funds,
in accordance with state workers’ compensation laws.
Relevant information may be provided to
insurance companies where the company requires a medical
examination to provide health or life insurance for employees.
DISCIPLINE, AND DISCHARGE
An employer can hold employees with
disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as
other similarly situated employees without disabilities for
performing essential job functions.
A disabled employee who needs an
accommodation in order to perform a job function should not be
evaluated on his/her ability to perform the function without the
accommodation, and should not be downgraded because such an
accommodation is needed to perform the function.
An employer should not give
employees with disabilities “special treatment”. They should
not be evaluated on a lower standard or disciplined less
severely than any other employee. This is not equal employment
If any employee with a
disability is not performing well, an employer may require
medical and other professional inquiries that are job-related
and consistent with business necessity to discover whether any
reasonable accommodation or additional accommodation is needed.
An employer may not
discipline or terminate an employee with a disability if the
employer has refused to provide a requested reasonable
accommodation that did not constitute an undue hardship, and the
reason for the unsatisfactory performance was the lack of
An employer may establish
attendance and leave policies that are uniformly applied to all
employees, regardless of disability, but may not refuse leave
needed by an employee with a disability if other employees get
An employer may be required
to make adjustments in leave policy as a reasonable
accommodation. The employer is not obligated to provide
additional paid leave, but accommodations may include leave
flexibility and unpaid leave.
An employer is not required
to give leave as a reasonable accommodation to an employee who
has a relationship with an individual with a disability to
enable the employee to care for that individual.
GUIDELINES FOR SENSITIVE USE OF LANGUAGE
Do not refer to a
disability unless it is relevant.
Do not sensationalize
a disability by saying “a victim of,” “afflicted with,” etc.
Instead say “person who has multiple sclerosis” or “people who
have had polio.”
descriptions. Say “uses a wheelchair” rather than “confined
to a wheelchair,” “wheelchair bound,” and “walks with
crutches” rather than “is crippled.”
Avoid labeling and
grouping people, as in “the disabled,” “the deaf,” “a
paraplegic.” Instead say “people with disabilities,” “people
who are deaf,” “a man who has paraplegia.” (Note that the
words “disabled,” “blind,” and “deaf” are adjectives, not
Avoid using the word
“special” in regard to a disability, as in “special entrance”
or “special transportation.” Instead say “accessible
entrance” and “lift-equipped buses.” The word “special”
serves to segregate rather than integrate people with
disability issues into a medical context. The overwhelming
majority of people with disabilities are not sick. Words like
“patient,” “case,” and “invalid” should not be used. Most
current disability issues concern civil rights, education, or
Do not assume that a
person with a speech impediment or mobility impairment has
some form of mental limitation.
Avoid using an over
familiar tone in referring to people with disabilities. A
disabled person deserves the same courtesy of address and
reference as a non-disabled person. (Disabled people, for
example, are often “first names,” whereas non-disabled people
in similar contexts are not.)
If you wish to speak
to a person with a disability, address him or her directly,
rather than addressing someone who is with that person.
Remember that people
with mental retardation often are articulate. Others may
understand more than they are able to communicate.
HINTS TO MINIMIZE RISK OF COMPLAINT
and safety features.
descriptions – consider essential functions of
positions – both Mental and Physical!
procedures – Interview Questions.
should be confined to whether the person can perform the
essential functions of the position.
pre-employment questions about applicant’s physical and mental
condition. These questions can be asked and a physical
examination can be given only after a conditional
employment offer is extended.
If in doubt,
regarding any aspects of the employment process, call Human
Resource Management for guidance.