Fall Accommodation Request FAQ

As of June 28, 2020

  • If I have already worked with my Dean to transition my courses from person-to-person to online, do I still need to submit a request for a flexible work arrangement?

    No – Flexible work arrangements for faculty only need to be requested if you are unable to teach your courses as assigned by your Dean.  Requests for flexible work arrangements can only be approved if they qualify as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation or if you provide medical documentation indicating that you are in the highest risk category based on current CDC guidelines, which can be found here.

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  • Can I request an accommodation because I live with someone who has a high risk for severe illness of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC?

    Flexible work arrangements are only available for the employee’s own situation based on the categories outlined by the CDC.  All other requests must be made according to the appropriate collective bargaining agreement and any applicable university policies.

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  • Is the university required to approve my long-term leave request?

    No.  Each leave request will be reviewed based in accordance with applicable laws, collective bargaining agreement provisions, university policies.  Consideration will also be given to the impact the leave will have on department/university operations.  In some cases, this may result in a denial of a long-term leave request.

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  • Does my manager have to approve my request to utilize available accrued leave for an extended period if my request for a flexible work arrangement was declined?

    No.  Each leave request will be reviewed based in accordance with applicable laws, collective bargaining agreement provisions, university policies.  Consideration will also be given to the impact the leave will have on department/university operations.  In some cases, this may result in a denial of an employees’ use of accrued leave for an extended period.

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  • When does the current liberal leave and leave without pay, with benefit provisions expire?

    This date has not yet been established by the Commonwealth or the Office of the Chancellor, but employees will be notified as soon as the information is available.

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  • When does the waiver of the requirement of a doctor’s note for sick leave use of more than 3 days expire?

    This will expire on the same date that the current liberal leave and leave without pay, with benefits provisions expire.

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  • What is a “disability” under the ADA?
    Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is someone who has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.”
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  • What is required if an individual, who is determined to have a “disability” as defined by the ADA, seeks a reasonable accommodation?

    Regarding a current employee, the employer is required to engage in an interactive process with the individual to identify any “reasonable accommodation” that can be made.  A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, and/or the work environment that will enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.

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  • Is a person who is in a high-risk category for COVID-19 (as defined by the CDC) protected by the ADA?

    They are protected by the ADA only if they have a “disability”.  See above FAQ for definition.  Many individuals who are in a high-risk category for COVID-19 will not meet the ADA definition of disability, and therefore a reasonable accommodation under the ADA will not be applicable.  Instead, a flexible work arrangement may be considered.

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  • For employees who are not protected by the ADA (because they do not have a “disability”), what type of flexible work arrangements can be considered?

    Here are some flexible work arrangements that may be considered, but this is not an all-inclusive list.  Flexible work arrangements may or may not be available based upon the type of job:

    1. Remote work
    2. Change in work location on-campus (e.g. private office, larger classroom)
    3. Change in work schedule
    4. Change in work duties

    Alternative/additional personal protective equipment (e.g. face shield, plexiglass barrier, etc.)

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  • If I was originally scheduled to teach an online course, should I submit a request for a flexible work arrangement?

    No, if you are not requesting to change your course format for the Fall 2020 semester you do not need to submit a request for a flexible work arrangement.

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  • I requested a portion of my class be transitioned online (e.g., the lecture will be taught online while the labs will remain person-to-person). Do I need to submit a request for a flexible work arrangement?

    Yes, any change from your typical course format is considered a request for a flexible work arrangement.

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