Accommodation Process For Supervisors
What to Do If An Employee Comes to You:
Employee approaches you for disability accommodation. This is one option for employees. Many employees will approach their supervisor first. However, all employees may request and Accommodation directly from OEA without coming to their supervisor.
Provide employee with Employee Disability Accommodation Request Form . The employee must complete the Employee Disability Accommodation Request Form, and it must be forwarded to OEA even if you can resolve the accommodation within your office.
Simple accommodations can be handled by you directly. Inexpensive accommodations ( similar to other routine departmental costs) and accommodations that are apparent and do not require documentation by a medical provider need not be forwarded to OEA before you make the accommodation.
All other accommodation requests should be forwarded to OEA. Any accommodation that requires medical provider documentation, a change in job function, or substantial expense must be forwarded to OEA to begin the interactive process between the Employee, your office, OEA, and their medical provider (if necessary). OEA will contact you before finalizing the accommodation if needed.
Do not accept or request medical documentation yourself. You may direct the Employee with the Employee Disability Accommodation Request Medical Documentation Form for their reference before referring them to OEA. However, the Employee must return this form to OEA, and supervisors should not accept or retain any medical documentation.
Disability Accommodation Best Practices For Supervisor
Conversations regarding accommodation requests should be handled discretely and privately. Even if an Employee approaches the Supervisor in a public area of the office or in front of other employees, Supervisor should politely move the conversation to a discrete location or schedule it later when the Supervisor can manage a discrete discussion.
Many disabilities are not obvious or may be intermittent. Do not judge the validity of any accommodation request based on what you have observed. Tell the employee that any disability accommodation requests that are not obvious to a lay person require documentation from a medical provider and direct them to OEA.
Any expenditure in excess of routine departmental costs requires medical documentation and must be referred to OEA. Stony Brook may provide essential equipment such as alternative keyboards/mice or other equipment of similar value without medical documentation. Due to budgetary constraints, accommodation requests for ergonomic chairs, software, and more expensive items require medical documentation as it could be cost-prohibitive to provide such things for multiple employees.
Employees should approach you with a request for accommodation. Supervisor should not prompt an employees that they need or might need an accommodation or that some type of accommodation might resolve a performance issue. Issues regarding performance based on a suspected need for disability accommodation should be treated like any ordinary performance issue.
All information regarding any employees request for or on-going disability accommodation must be kept confidential. Employees expect privacy in any information that they communicate to you or OEA regarding a disability accommodation request. You must respect their privacy.
Accommodations are about providing a person with a disability equal access to employment. Once an accommodation is implemented, all other aspects of that employee’s rights and responsibilities as a staff member remain the same.