In accordance with the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents' policies and procedures, the University's non-discrimination policy, the Georgia Equal Employment for People with Disabilities Code, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Georgia College (GC) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). Georgia College also prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and veteran status and provides reasonable accommodations to all persons unless doing so will impose an undue hardship on the University.
Procedures for Employees
Georgia College Workplace Procedures for Accommodating People with Disabilities & Covered Veterans
GC is committed to the fundamental principles of equal opportunity and equal treatment for every prospective and current employee and strives to create a campus environment which understands, fosters, and embraces the value of diversity. No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability or veteran status be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination, under any program or activity conducted by GC.
The ADAAA defines a disabled individual as:
- "Any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities…" Examples of major life activities include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, breathing, learning, and reproducing.
- "Any individual who has a record of such an impairment…" Examples of this application includes persons in remission from cancer or individuals who received special education services while in public school. Although the disability may not be visible, there is a record or history of having a particular disability.
- "Any individual who is regarded as having such an impairment." In this case, the individual does not have a documented disability but is perceived as having one.
III. What is a "Reasonable Accommodation"?
In a university setting, the term "reasonable accommodation" can apply to both the academic and work environments. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments which can be made without undue hardship to allow a qualified individual to enjoy equal employment and educational opportunities.
"Undue hardship" is a practice, procedure, or financial cost, which unreasonably interferes with business operations at the university.
"Essential functions" are the fundamental job duties of the position and do not include the marginal functions of the position.
Examples of reasonable accommodations:
- In terms of the work environment, reasonable accommodations could involve modifying the employee's schedule or working environment.
Requests for assistance with accommodations in the employment or the employment application processes shall be made to the Office of Human Resources at 478-445-5932.
Requests for assistance with academic accommodations should be made to the Student Disability Resource Center (478) 445-5931. See also the Policy for Students with Disabilities.
IV. Responsibility to Request Accommodations
Although it is the goal of the University to grant reasonable accommodations, it is the responsibility of the person with the need to request a reasonable accommodation.
V. Processes for Requesting Workplace Accommodations
If you are seeking a workplace accommodation, please contact the Office of Human Resources for additional information or assistance at 478-445-5932.
VI. Additional Accommodations
For requests by the public for reasonable access to University facilities and programs, please contact the program's sponsor or Extended University at 478-445-2753 to initiate the interactive process.
VII. How are Accommodations Made?
Accommodations are provided through an interactive process between the requester and GC representatives. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Interactive Process is "an informal, interactive process . . . [to] identify the precise limitations …and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations."
The employee who is requesting the accommodation may be asked to obtain specific supporting documentation to be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.
For disability accommodation requests -- depending on the case and the documentation presented, an evaluation by a health professional designated by GC may be necessary. If requested, supporting documentation from a qualified medical provider may include:
- a diagnosis of the disability and any accompanying testing results
- a detailed description of the specific impairment, limitations, functional need, and the medical justification for such need
- a recommendation of the type of accommodation needed
Upon receiving and reviewing the necessary documentation, the interactive process may continue or a decision may be made on the request.
VIII. Responsibility for Implementation
The Office of Human Resources and departmental management are responsible for reviewing the request and assessing whether the employee's request will cause undue hardship. The Office of Human Resources, at 478-445-5932, is available to answer questions or provide additional information regarding this policy.
IX. Filing an Appeal:
If a person disagrees with a decision regarding an accommodation request, they have a right to appeal the decision by filing an appeal with:
Office of Human Resources
Nirva Pierre-Louis, M.S., PHR, SHRM-CP
Assistant Director of Employee Relations
Campus Box 028
Milledgeville, GA 31061