5.0.5 Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities

Policy Section: 5.0 Conditions of Employment

Policy Number and Title: 5.0.5 Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities
Applicable to: All Regular & Term Employees & Individuals to Whom a Job Offer Has Been Made*
Effective Date: April 1, 2014

Responsible Offices:
Office of Human Resources
University Health Services
Director of Client Services, Office of Human Resources

Policy Description

Princeton University provides reasonable accommodations for employees and individuals to whom a job offer has been made (referred to in this policy as “employee”) who have a disability. In determining which accommodations are “reasonable,” the University and the employee have a mutual obligation to engage in a good faith interactive process to explore and discuss options for reasonable modifications. Reasonable accommodations are provided only when an employee identifies oneself as a qualified individual with a covered disability and provides the appropriate documentation from a healthcare provider.
* This policy does pertain to dean of faculty employees, who should consult with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for eligibility, procedures and other information.  


These definitions apply to terms as they are used in this policy and/or as defined by applicable federal and state laws.
A physical or mental impairment that prevents the normal exercise of any bodily or mental functions or is demonstrable by accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques. Disabilities must be documented by a state-authorized healthcare provider.
Perceived as or with
a Record of a Disability
A person may be disabled if the individual:
  1. has a physical or mental impairment;
  2. has a record of such an impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such impairment.
Qualified Individual 
with a Disability
An individual with a disability must be otherwise qualified for the position. Persons with a disability are otherwise qualified when they have satisfied the requisite skills, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment positions they hold or seek, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the position.
To qualify for reasonable accommodation, the employee’s disability must be a diagnosable condition that a state-authorized health care provider will certify. Personal belief or subjective reports provided by the employee are insufficient.
Reasonable accommodations are modifications made to enable a qualified employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position. Depending on the specific circumstances and the documentation received, accommodations may include:
  • acquisition or modifications of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of training materials or policies;
  • making existing facilities used by faculty and staff or a candidate readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
  • job restructuring
  • modified work schedules
  • working remotely at times
  • consideration for transfer or reassignment
  • the provision of qualified readers or interpreters
  • other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Retaliation will not be tolerated when a person takes action against another employee because the employee has:
  • Requested, or assisted others, in requesting accommodations, making a complaint, or assisting others in making a complaint, about disability discrimination.
  • Otherwise engaged in behavior protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and/or University policies.
Undue Hardship/
An undue hardship occurs when there is:
  • Potential for significant difficulty or expense to be incurred by the University with respect to the provision of reasonable accommodation
  • Undue, costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive impact that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business.
  • Among the factors to be considered in determining whether an accommodation is an undue hardship are the nature and structure of the operation, the cost of the accommodation and financial resources.
When supervisors receive information about an employee’s disability, including from a coworker, family member, or other source, they must respond on behalf of the University, by initiating the interactive process described below.
Although supervisors are not required to accept any accommodations simply as proposed by the employee, supervisors should:
  • Inform the employee that the University has established procedures for determining reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
  • Not ask the employee to disclose medical information.
  • Consult with a senior Human Resources manager.
The employee, and not the University, is responsible for ensuring that the University receives the requested information from the employee and/or the healthcare provider that will be utilized to determine a reasonable accommodation.
Medical Information
Employees should direct all relevant medical information to Employee Health Services to ensure appropriate privacy of medical information.
Employees are not required to provide health information to their supervisors, the senior Human Resources manager or the senior staffing specialist. If the supervisor, senior Human Resources manager or the senior staffing specialist receives health information from an employee who chooses to volunteer it, the supervisor, senior Human Resources manager or the senior staffing specialist is not prohibited from sharing that information on a need-to-know basis.


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