Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Discrimination/Harassment
ADA Compliance Office and Title IX/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer
Accommodation Requests
Complaint Process

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Discrimination/Harassment

Disability based discrimination is prohibited by college policy and state and federal law. The United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) OCR enforces two federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education gives grants of financial assistance to schools and colleges and to certain other entities, including vocational rehabilitation programs. The U.S. Department of Education's Section 504 regulation is enforced by OCR and is in the federal code of regulations at 34 CFR 104.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on disability in public entities. OCR is the agency designated by the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce the regulation under Title II with respect to public educational entities and public libraries. The Title II regulation is in the federal code of regulations at 28 CFR 35.

Examples of the types of discrimination prohibited include access to educational programs and facilities, denial of a free appropriate public education for elementary and secondary students, and academic adjustments in higher education. Section 504 and Title II also prohibit employment discrimination; complainants may choose whether to pursue such complaints with OCR or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Section 504 and Title II both prohibit retaliation for filing an OCR complaint or for advocating for a right protected by the two laws, and harassment of students or others because of a disability.

Disability discrimination in employment occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability.

Employment disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because she has a history of a disability(such as cancer that is controlled or in remission) or because she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if she does not have such an impairment).

The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer ("undue hardship").

The law also protects people from discrimination based on their relationship with a person with a disability (even if they do not themselves have a disability). For example, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because his/her spouse has a disability.

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

It is illegal to harass an applicant or employee because he or she has a disability, had a disability in the past, or is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he does not have such an impairment).

Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person's disability. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.

While the federal anti-discrimination laws don't require an employer to accommodate an employee who must care for a disabled family member, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may require an employer to take such steps. The Department of Labor enforces the FMLA. For more information, call: 1-866-487-9243.

An employer doesn't have to provide an accommodation if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer.

Undue hardship means that the accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in light of the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the business. An employer may not refuse to provide an accommodation just because it involves some cost. An employer does not have to provide the exact accommodation the employee or job applicant wants. If more than one accommodation works, the employer may choose which one to provide.

Not everyone with a medical condition is protected by the law. In order to be protected, a person must be qualified for the job and have a disability as defined by the law.

The law places strict limits on employers when it comes to asking job applicants to answer medical questions, take a medical exam, or identify a disability.

For example, an employer may not ask a job applicant to answer medical questions or take a medical exam before extending a job offer. An employer also may not ask job applicants if they have a disability (or about the nature of an obvious disability). An employer may ask job applicants whether they can perform the job and how they would perform the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.

After a job is offered to an applicant, the law allows an employer to condition the job offer on the applicant answering certain medical questions or successfully passing a medical exam, but only if all new employees in the same type of job have to answer the questions or take the exam.

The law also requires that employers keep all medical records and information confidential and in separate medical files.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate or retaliate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's disability or for complaining about discrimination, filing a charge of discrimination, or participating in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The Pittsburgh area office of the EEOC is located in the William S. Moorhead Federal Building, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Suite 1112, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 1-800-669-4000 1-800-669-6820 (TTY).

ADA Compliance Office and Title IX/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer

The Human Resources Office is also the ADA Compliance Office and the Title IX/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for addressing ADA compliance issues and investigating ADA complaints.

Accommodation Requests

Employees or applicants for employment that have or develop a disability may make requests for accommodation using the Reasonable Accommodation Medical Verification and Inquiry Form. Forms are submitted to the Title IX/Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer.

Students that have or develop a disability should contact the Academic Support Services Office for academic accommodation requests. For more information, see Accommodating Disabled Students on this website.

Employees and students with disabilities may request housing accommodations using the Glenville State College Housing Accommodation Request Form.

Complaint Process

Complaints by employees are filed with the Title IX/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer using the Complaint Form. Any student with a disability who believes s/he has been discriminated against or that his or her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated may informally report his/her concerns to the Academic Support Center's Educational Counselor. The Academic Support Center Educational Counselor will attempt to resolve the concern and will respond to the student within three working days. Students who are not satisfied with the Academic Support Center Counselor's response may file a complaint with the Coordinator using the form provided.

The Coordinator will investigate all complaints and make a recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs within a reasonable time after receipt. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will issue a final written decision on the complaint within ten working days of receipt of the recommended decision.

Appeals of the Vice-President's decision may be filed in writing with the President’s Office within five working days of receipt. The President or President's designee will issue a written decision within ten working days of receipt. The President's decision is final.

Information from: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm and http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/ocr/disability.html