Policies,Administrative,UW Health Administrative,Human Resources

Disability Accommodation (9.68)

Disability Accommodation (9.68) - Policies, Administrative, UW Health Administrative, Human Resources


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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy

This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority (UWHCA) as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations and
staff of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and University of Wisconsin Medical
Foundation (UWMF).

Policy Title: Disability Accommodation
Policy Number: 9.68
Effective Date: 06/01/2017
Chapter: Human Resources
Version: Revision


To establish guidelines for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.
§12101, et seq.; the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act
(WFEA), Wis. Stats. 111.31, et seq.; and other federal, state, and local laws related to the employment of
persons with disabilities and to affirmatively state UW Health’s (UWH) commitment to equal
employment opportunity.


UWH is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities. It is the
policy of UWH to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities who are
employees or applicants for employment. UWH will comply with all applicable federal, state and local
laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations to afford equal
employment opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities.


This policy applies to all employees and applicants for employment.


A. Disability: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the term "disability" means, with
respect to an individual:
1. Physical or mental condition that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities
of an individual;
2. A history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission); or
3. Being regarded as having such impairment, regardless of whether the impairment limits a
major life activity. This does not include impairments that are transitory (actual or 
duration of six months or less) and minor.
4. An impairment which is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially 
a major life activity when active. Also, mitigating measures, other than ordinary eyeglasses or
contact lenses, are not considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability.

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B. "Major life activities" include, but are not limited to, functions such as caring for one's self, 

performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, communicating, breathing,
concentrating, thinking, learning, and working. It also includes the operation of major bodily
functions such as the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder,
neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions. Under the
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, an "individual with a disability" means an individual who:
1. Has a physical or mental impairment which makes achievement unusually difficult or limits
the capacity to work;
2. Has a record of such an impairment; or
3. Is perceived as having such impairment.

C. Qualified individual with a disability: An individual with a disability who has the experience, 

education, training, licenses/certifications and skills to perform the essential functions of a 

position, with or without reasonable accommodation.

D. Essential job functions: Those duties that are fundamental to the performance of the job.

E. Reasonable Accommodation: A modification of a job or work environment in a manner that will

enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job.
Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, making facilities accessible,
adjusting work schedules, restructuring jobs, providing assistive devices, or modifying work

F. Undue hardship: Any action that will require significant difficulty, expense or disruption.


A. The Pre-Employment Health Assessment
1. Offers of employment are conditioned on completion of a pre-employment health assessment to
ensure that the individual is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with or
without reasonable accommodation. Failure to complete the pre- employment health assessment
will be viewed as a rejection of the offer of employment. Administrative Policy 9.20-Fitness for
Duty: New Employee Health Assessment.
2. If the pre-employment health assessment reveals a disability and need for accommodation, EHS
may communicate with the employee's medical provider to obtain additional information, if
needed. This information shall be shared with an Employee Relations Consultant (ERC) who will
work with the manager and EHS to evaluate the nature of and ability to accommodate.
3. UWH is not required to hire an applicant with a disability over other qualified applicants. UWH
may refuse to hire an applicant if s/he poses a direct threat to the health or safety of him/herself or
others or for other legitimate reasons. A direct threat means a significant risk of substantial harm
based on objective, factual evidence.

B. Employee Responsibilities
1. It is the responsibility of the employee to inform his/her manager and the ERC in the Human
Resources department if an accommodation is needed to perform the essential job functions.
The manager should also contact the ERC once made aware the employee is requesting an
accommodation. The employee requesting an accommodation needs to complete the
"Request for Accommodation” form available on U-Connect.

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2. Along with the Request for Accommodation form, employees must ensure that his/her
provider submits supporting medical documentation via the Medical Provider Report for
Accommodation form, which is included in the “Request for Accommodation” packet.
Requests for accommodation will not be reviewed until all necessary documentation has been
submitted. Failure to submit all necessary documentation will result in requests being denied.
UWH reserves the right to request that the employee be examined by Employee Health
Services (EHS) or another outside provider before making any decisions regarding a
requested accommodation. UWH will pay the costs associated with such requested
examinations. All medical information will be treated as confidential.

C. Manager Responsibilities
1. The manager and the ERC will work together with a qualified disabled employee to identify
and provide a reasonable accommodation for known physical or mental limitations whenever
possible, unless to do so would create an undue hardship for UWH. In all cases, an ERC will
be consulted on the reasonableness of a proposed accommodation and must be consulted
before making the decision that an accommodation would cause an undue hardship, and
therefore cannot be granted.
2. Upon receiving a request for an accommodation, managers will consider the following:
a. Reasonable accommodation in the employee's current position;
b. Reasonable accommodation in an equivalent (if available) or any other vacant 
in the same department for which the employee is qualified;
c. Placement outside the department in an equivalent (if available) or any other 
position for which the employee is qualified, if no reasonable 
accommodation within the
employee's job is possible;
d. Modification of a work schedule
e. Modification of a work area/workstation.
3. The following are examples of factors that may be considered in the determination of whether
an accommodation is reasonable:
a. The type of job; 

b. The essential functions of the job; 

c. Whether there is more than one acceptable way to perform the essential functions of the

d. What, if any architectural or structural modifications are required and/or are feasible;
e. Cost of the accommodation. 

f. Disruption to operations or patient care as a result of an accommodation. 

4. A workplace evaluation may be performed by EHS if the employee's manager or the ERC
feels it is necessary in determining what type of workspace or equipment accommodation
may be appropriate.

An employee must participate and cooperate in the accommodation process. Failure to do so may result in
the inability to provide an accommodation and possibly termination of employment. 

Employees are expected to comply with all safety procedures. UWH places employees with disabilities
only in those positions that do not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of themselves or other
employees, patients or visitors.

D. Displaced Worker Pool
1. While UWH is committed to working through employee accommodation requests, there may
be instances in which an accommodation cannot be granted. For example, instance when a
manager is unable to accommodate an employee’s physical restrictions/accommodation
requests or the employee has restrictions that do no allow him/her to perform the essential

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functions of the position, even with accommodations. In these situations the employee may
be placed into the Displaced Worker Pool.
2. The Displaced Worker Pool allows an employee to be removed from his/her current position,
while remaining an active employee for a period of up to 3-months. During the 3 month
period, the employee can apply for any open positions which he/she is interested in and
qualified for, and which may be better suited to grant any accommodation requested.
3. Displaced employees will only be considered for placement into same (lateral) or lower level
(demotion) positions within the employee's restrictions, skills, qualifications, and abilities.
The employee is responsible for applying for any promotional opportunities and will be
considered for those as appropriate.
4. Employees are required to cooperate and participate in good faith in the displaced worker
process. This includes responding to requests for information, attending displaced worker
meetings and interviews. An employee's failure to cooperate may result in an inability to
secure an available position. An employee claiming Worker's Compensation injuries who
refuses to participate in the process or to accept an offer of placement may be denied
Worker's Compensation benefits and may be disciplined, up to and including termination, for
failure to participate in good faith in the displaced worker process. An employee who refuses
to accept an offer of placement in an available position that is the same or lower level will be
given the option to either medically separate or resign from employment.
5. If the employee is unable to secure or be placed in an available position at the end of the 3-
month period he/she will have the option to voluntarily resign or be medically separated. This
provision may not apply to employees claiming Worker's Compensation injuries.

E. Complaints
Any employee who believes he/she may have been subjected to behavior in violation of this
policy may address their concerns through the process outlined in Administrative
Policy 9.27- Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination.


This Policy creates no rights, contractual or otherwise. Statements of policy obtained herein are not made
for the purpose of inducing any person to become or remain an employee of UWH, and should not be
considered "promises" or as granting "property" rights. UWH may add to, subtract from and/or modify
this Policy at any time. Nothing contained in this Policy impairs the right of a non-represented employee
or UWH to terminate the employment relationship at-will.

ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, Wis. Stat. §111.31, et seq.
Request for Accommodation packet


Sr. Management Sponsor: VP, Human Resources Operations
Author: Director, Employee Relations

Approval Committee: UW Health Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee


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Elizabeth Bolt
UW Health Chief Administrative Officer

Revision History
Previous revision: 04/01/2017
Next revision: 06/01/2020