Minnesota West Policies

Chapter 1 - General

1B.0.1.1   Policy Reasonable Accommodations in Employment


Part 1.  Purpose

This procedure sets forth the process to be used for responding to requests for reasonable accommodations in employment based on an applicant's or employee's disability. The scope of this procedure is limited to reasonable accommodations, and is not intended to fully describe other provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Minnesota Human Rights Act.


Part 2.  Reasonable Accommodations in Employment

It is the policy of Minnesota West Community & Technical College to encourage the employment and promotion of any qualified individual, including qualified individuals with disabilities. Minnesota West will not discriminate in providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability in regard to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, employee compensation, job training or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.


Part 3.  Definitions

For purpose of this procedure, the following terms have the meaning given them:


Subpart A.  Employer

The employer is Minnesota West Community & Technical College.


Subpart B.  Essential Functions

Essential functions are the fundamental job duties of the position in question. The term does not include the marginal functions of the position.

  1. A job function may be considered essential for any of several reasons, including but not limited to the following:
    1. The function may be essential because the reason the position exists is to perform that function.
    2. The function may be essential because of the limited number of employees available among whom the performance of that job function can be distributed.
    3. The function may be highly specialized so that the incumbent in the position is hired for his or her expertise or ability to perform the particular function.
  2. Evidence of whether a particular function is essential includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Minnesota West's judgment as to which functions are essential,
    2. Written position descriptions,
    3. The amount of time spent on the job performing the function,
    4. The consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function,
    5. The terms of a collective bargaining agreement,
    6. The work experience of past incumbents in the job, and/or
    7. The current work experience of incumbents in similar jobs.


Subpart C.  Individual with a Disability

An individual with a disability for the purposes of determining reasonable accommodations is any applicant, current employee, including student employees, or employees seeking promotion, who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially or materially limits one or more of such individual's major life activities. Generally, a disabling physical or mental condition which is expected to be temporary and from which the individual is expected to recover is not a disability under this procedure.

 

Subpart D.  Qualified Individual with a Disability
A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with a disability who meets the requisite skill, education, experience and other job-related requirements of the job and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job.

 

Subpart E.  Reasonable Accommodations
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job or employment practice or the work environment that enables a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job as identified at the time of the reasonable accommodation request and to access equal employment opportunities. Reasonable accommodations may also include those things which make a facility and its operations readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Under the law, Minnesota West has a responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with a disability only if the disability is known and it is not an undue hardship under Part 6.


Part 4.  Identification of Assigned Staff Member

Minnesota West Community and Technical College has identified Karen Miller, Human Resources Director (507-223-7252), as the person responsible for administering requests for reasonable accommodations.


Part 5.  Right to Representation

In accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreement language, employees may have the right to request and receive union representation during the reasonable accommodations process.


Part 6.  Providing Reasonable Accommodations

Subpart A.  Job Relatedness

Reasonable accommodations will be provided only for job-related needs of individuals with a disability. The primary factor in evaluating an accommodation's job relatedness is whether the accommodation specifically assists the individual to perform the essential functions of the job as identified at the time of the reasonable accommodation request. If the requested accommodation is primarily for the benefit of the individual with a disability to assist that individual in daily personal activities, Minnesota West is not required to provide the accommodation. The appropriate reasonable accommodation is best determined through a flexible, interactive process that involves both Minnesota West and the qualified individual with a disability; it may include the appropriate union representative as provided by the applicable collective bargaining agreement.


Subpart B.  Essential Functions

Minnesota West Community and Technical College may deny employment or advancement in employment based on the inability of an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job and may decline to make accommodations to the physical or mental needs of an employee or job applicant with a disability if:

  1. The accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the college as provided under Subpart C,
  2. The individual with a disability, with or without reasonable accommodations, is not qualified to perform the essential functions of that particular job, or
  3. Having the individual in the job would create a direct threat because of a significant risk to the health and safety of the individual or others and the risk cannot be eliminated by reasonable  accommodation.


Subpart C.  Undue Hardship

In determining whether providing a reasonable accommodation would impose an undue hardship on Minnesota West Community & Technical College, the factors to be considered include:

  1. The nature and net cost of the accommodation needed.
  2. The overall financial resources of Minnesota West involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodation, the number of persons employed, and the effect on expenses and resources.
  3. The overall financial resources of Minnesota West, the overall size of the college with respect to the number of its employees, and the number, type and location of its facilities.
  4. The type of operation or operations of Minnesota West, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce, and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of Minnesota West to the covered entity.
  5. The impact of the accommodation upon the operation of Minnesota West, including the impact on the ability of other employees to perform their duties and the impact on the college's ability to conduct business.


Subpart D.  Documentation

Documentation of a disability is required as part of the reasonable accommodation process unless the nature and extent of the disability is already known to Minnesota West, or as a practical matter, the requested accommodation is minimal and Minnesota West makes modifications for its convenience, regardless of whether the employee or applicant meets the requirements for a reasonable accommodation under this procedure.


Subpart E.  Choice of Accommodations

Minnesota West Community & Technical College is not required to provide the specific accommodation requested by the individual and may choose an effective accommodation which is less expensive or easier to provide. Accommodations provided to the individual are the financial responsibility of Minnesota West.


Subpart F.  Procedure for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation - Employee

  1. The employee will inform her/his supervisor of the need for an accommodation. The employee or the supervisor, if requested by the employee, will complete the Request for Reasonable Accommodation form, available from the Human Resources office. If necessary, the supervisor will work with the ADA Coordinator to obtain documentation of the individual's functional limitations.
  2. When an accommodation has been requested, the supervisor will, in consultation with the employee:
    1. Discuss the purpose of the job and the essential functions.  (It may be necessary to complete a step-by-step job analysis),
    2. Determine the precise job-related limitation(s),
    3. Identify potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness of each, and
    4. Select and implement the most appropriate accommodation for both the individual and the employer.
  3. The supervisor and/or employee may seek technical assistance from the agency ADA Coordinator/AAO as needed.
  4. If the supervisor is unable to make a decision about a requested accommodation, she/he will forward the written request for accommodation, along with her/his recommendation to the appropriate Vice President within five working days of the employee's request. If the Vice President is unable to make a decision, the request will be forwarded, along with her/his recommendation to the President within ten days of the employee's initial request. The President, working with the agency's ADA Coordinator, will make the decision and provide the response to the supervisor and the employee within ten working days after receiving the request.
  5. If an accommodation cannot overcome the existing barriers, or if the accommodation would cause undue hardship to the operation of the college, the employee and ADA Coordinator will work together to determine whether reassignment may be an appropriate accommodation.
    1. If there is a vacant position that is equivalent to the one held by the employee, the agency may, as an accommodation, reassign the individual to a vacant position.
    2. If the employee is not qualified for a vacant position with or without a reasonable accommodation or no equivalent vacant position exists, the agency may, as an accommodation, reassign the individual to a vacant position in a lower classification for which the employee is qualified. In this case, the agency is not required to maintain the employee's salary at the previous level.
    3. If there are transfer, mobility, noncompetitive, and competitive opportunities available, the agency may, as an accommodation, make those opportunities available to the employee.


Subpart G.  Procedure for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation - Job Applicant

  1. When a request for accommodation is received from a job applicant, the supervisor and a staff member from the Office of Human Resources will discuss alternatives with the applicant and will make a decision regarding the request. If approved, the supervisor will make sure that the accommodation is provided.
  2. If the supervisor and the staff member from the Office of Human Resources are unable to make a decision, they will forward a written request for accommodation, along with a recommendation, to the ADA Coordinator/AAO within three days following the request.
  3. If the request is approved, the supervisor will make sure that the accommodation is provided. If the request is not approved, the ADA Coordinator/AAO will inform the applicant in writing within three working days.


Part 7.0  Application

Nothing in this procedure is intended to expand, diminish, or alter the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Minnesota Human Rights Act.


Approved by: Ron Wood, President
Date: July 1, 2003
History & Revision: