Interactive Process / Reasonable Accommodation
In accordance with University Policy PPSM 81 and the Americans with Disabilities Act the Interactive Process is an ongoing dialogue between the employee and appropriate representatives of the University about possible options for reasonably accommodating an employee’s disability.
The Interactive Process is initiated by the University when there is an awareness of a disability and a concern regarding the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their position. This can be before an employee returns to work (i.e. release to return to work with restrictions, workers’ compensation etc.).
The law and university policy require that the Interactive Process be conducted timely and in good faith. “Good faith” is defined as demonstrated, documented efforts to communicate, identify and implement a reasonable accommodation.
A reasonable accommodation is a change to a job, department’s policy, or to the work environment that enables the individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations can include (but are not limited to):
- Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
- Job restructuring – reallocating or redistributing marginal job functions.
- Leaves of absences.
- Altering when, how or where the essential job function is performed.
- Intermittent/reduced work schedules, such as changing start or end time and allowing time off for medical appointments.
- Reassignment to an active, vacant position to which the employee is qualified with or without accommodation.