Policies

Policies

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Effective Date Dec 1, 2014

Applicable Employee Classes:

All Florida Tech Employees

Reviewed Date:

December 2014

Approved by:

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

9.2 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Policy

It is Florida Institute of Technology’s policy not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to all employment practices and actions. It includes, but is not limited to, recruitment, the job application process, hiring, training, discharge, compensation, disciplinary actions, advancement, transfers and promotions, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of the university to comply with all federal, state, and local laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities.

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for implementing this policy, including resolution of reasonable accommodation, safety, and undue hardship issues.

In implementing this policy, Florida Institute of Technology will be guided by the then-applicable definitions stated in the ADA or in case law construing the ADA, and applicable state and local law. In the event of any conflict between the definitions in the ADA and definitions in this policy, the legal definitions will control. The following discussion is provided for general guidance of employees and applicants in understanding the policy.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees who meet the statute's definition of a "qualified individual with a disability." The ADA defines a disability in three ways:

1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual

2. A record of such an impairment

3. Being regarded as having such an impairment

However, in the “regarded as” instance, the situation is more complicated. Under amendments to the ADA in 2008, if the condition is transitory and minor, defined as having an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less, then the condition does not qualify as disability. Generally, ameliorative, measures such as medications and medical devices will not be considered in making a disability determination, although ordinary eyeglasses may be taken into consideration. So, for example, the mere fact that a person wears ordinary eyeglasses will not qualify that person as “disabled”. On the other hand, the fact that a person has a hearing aid or takes medications to address the impairment will not disqualify that person as being “disabled” if the person otherwise meets the definition of “disabled.”

  •  “Major life activity” may include things such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating or working.
  • A “major life activity” may also include bodily functions such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
  •  “Direct threat to safety” refers to a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.
  •  A “qualified individual with a disability” refers to an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that the individual holds or has applied for.
  •  “ Reasonable accommodation” refers to any change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things customarily are done that would allow an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform the essential job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace, and to enjoy equal employment opportunities, provided that such changes do no impose an undue hardship, eliminate essential functions of the job or create a threat regarding safety. These include, but are not limited to, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, equipment or furniture modifications, adjustment or modification of training materials, and adjustment or modification of policies.
  •  “Undue hardship” refers to an action requiring significant difficulty or expense by the employer. The factors to be considered in determining an undue hardship include: (1) the nature and cost of the accommodation; (2) the overall financial resources of the facility at which the reasonable accommodation is to be made; (3) the number of persons employed at that facility; (4) the effect on expenses and resources or other impact upon that facility; (5) the overall financial resources of the Company; (6) the overall number of employees and facilities; (7) the operations of the particular facility as well as the entire Company; and (8) the relationship of the particular facility to the Company. These are not all of the factors but merely examples.
  •  “Essential job function” refers to those activities of a job that are the core to performing the job in question.

Procedure

Florida Institute of Technology will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Requests for accommodation are to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources on the Reasonable Accommodation Request form with any/all supportive documentation attached.
An individual, who can be reasonably accommodated for the job in question, without undue hardship, will be given the same consideration for that position as any other employee or applicant.

All employees are required to comply with safety standards. Applicants who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace, which threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation, will not be hired. Current employees who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the other individuals in the workplace will be placed on appropriate leave until an organizational decision has been made in regard to the employee’s immediate employment situation.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)