ADA Accommodations for COVID-19
Adelphi University’s policies for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for our staff, safety for our faculty and students and for the public we interact with.
Reason for Policy
The goal is to protect our staff, faculty and students while responding to the COVID 19 pandemic and continue Adelphi University’s mission of education.
Who Is Governed by this Policy
All employees of the University:
- Non-Union employees of the University
- Employees of the American Association of University of Professors (AAUP)
- Employees of the Benevolent Association of Security Officers
- Employees of the Local 1102
- Employees of the Local 153
- Employees of Adelphi Physical Plant Workers’ Labor Union (APPWLU)
Some employees may be unable to return to work on campus for a variety of reasons, including their actual or perceived vulnerability to COVID 19.
The CDC issues guidance concerning the pandemic and other public health crises. Currently, the CDC issues guidance regarding COVID-19 and vulnerable populations, i.e., those who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including “older adults” and/or people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, immune deficiencies and disorders, cancer, HIV or AIDS, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease). As information becomes available CDC guidance may change and this policy accordingly.
Employees with a medically-diagnosed disability who already receive a reasonable accommodation under the ADA may be entitled to additional or alternative reasonable accommodations because of COVID-19. For example, an employee who is teleworking because of the pandemic may need a different type of accommodation than what they use in the actual workplace. Please note that an employee’s general concerns about illness (including COVID-19) for themselves or family members do not constitute a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA. While we will attempt to be flexible regarding such employees, we cannot guarantee that accommodation is possible.
If an employee requires an accommodation, the employee should complete the two required documents. One is an employee request for accommodation form and one is for the physician to complete. The physician statement must answer the following:
- How the disability creates a limitation
- How the requested accommodation will effectively address the limitation
- Whether a different accommodation could effectively address the issue
- How a proposed accommodation will enable the employee to continue performing the essential functions of his or her position
- Physician signature
A reasonable accommodation may be appropriate if it allows the employee to perform his or her essential job functions and does not impose an undue hardship on the University.
Employees who do not seek accommodations may not have any action taken against them unless their conditions pose a direct threat (a significant risk of substantial harm) to their own health and cannot be accommodated by reasonable means. This is a very high threshold. Such steps may not be taken without the involvement of the Office of Human Resources.
This policy requires employees (including a student employee) requesting an employee accommodation to engage in a dialogue with Karen Loiacono and Joanna Ocampo in the Office of Human Resources regarding the request. Adelphi may proactively inquire whether employees with disabilities will require accommodations upon a return to work after stay at home orders and shutdowns are lifted.
Undue Hardship: An undue hardship is defined as a “significant difficulty or expense” to the University
Vulnerable Population: Include “older adults” (70+ years old) and/or people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, immune deficiencies and disorders, cancer, HIV or AIDS, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease).
Adelphi will keep all medical information about an employee separate and confidential from an employee’s personnel file.
This section must contain the following dates or placeholders for future dates:
- Last Reviewed Date: New Policy
- Last Revised Date: August 3, 2022
- Policy Origination Date: July 21, 2020
Who Approved This Policy
Lucinda J. Donnelly – Chief Human Resources Officer