Reasonable Accommodation Policy
All faculty and staff.
Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law, Northwestern University will reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and pregnant employees, as defined by law. Failure to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and pregnant employees is a violation of federal and/or state law as well as University policy.
To ensure that an employee with a disability can perform or continue to perform (if the disability occurs after employment) their job responsibilities, a reasonable accommodation by Northwestern University may include, but is not limited to, the purchase of special equipment, changing the physical layout of the workplace, restructuring job responsibilities and duties and modifying the work schedule.
To ensure that a pregnant employee can continue to perform her job responsibilities, a reasonable accommodation by Northwestern University may include, but is not limited to, more frequent breaks, private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, light duty, restructuring job responsibilities and duties and modifying the work schedule.
Even though the employee provides input concerning the accommodation process, Northwestern University will determine what constitutes a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right to request additional independent medical examinations, evaluations or other appropriate information at the University's expense.
Medical information is treated as confidential and will be shared with University administrators only on a need to know basis. Northwestern University will not provide accommodations without appropriate documentation.
In limited instances, a requested accommodation may pose an "undue hardship" on the University which prevents the accommodation from being offered. The determination of whether an accommodation creates an "undue hardship" is contingent upon a number of variables and is made by the Office of Equity. Supervisors must contact the Office of Equity before disciplining, transferring, terminating or relieving an employee of job responsibilities due to disability or pregnancy.
The Office of Equity, Office of Human Resources, is the administrative office responsible for the management, implementation and coordination of the Northwestern University Reasonable Accommodation Policy. Concerns with respect to architectural barriers and building/program disability-related modifications should also be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.