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 Are you Protected by the ADA?

If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects you if you have a history of such a disability, or if an employer believes that you have such a disability, even if you don’t.

To be protected under the ADA, you must have, have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor, impairment. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.

If you have a disability, you must also be qualified to perform the essential functions or duties of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected from job discrimination by the ADA. This means two things. First, you must satisfy the employer’s requirements for the job, such as education, employment experience, skills or licenses. Second, you must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions are the fundamental job duties that you must be able to perform on your own or with the help of a reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot refuse to hire you because your disability prevents you from performing duties that are not essential to the job.

Responsibilities of ADA Coordinator or Designee
  • Establish essential job functions, abilities, skills, knowledge and standards.
  • Request current documentation from an employee completed by the appropriate professional source(s) to verify the need for reasonable accommodations.
  • Deny a request for accommodations if the documentation demonstrates that the request is not warranted or if the individual fails to provide the appropriate documentation.
  • Select among effective accommodations.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding to disability and accommodations (no discussion with co-works or colleagues, no medial records in personnel files).
  • Refuse unreasonable accommodation requests that impose and undue financial burden upon the University, or that are considered “personal” in nature.
Confidentiality under the ADA

The ADA imposes higher confidentiality requirements than previous laws and restricts the degree of access to confidential medical records, histories, and information. University policy, procedures, and practice were developed in accordance with these higher confidentiality standards.

Confidential Medical Information

  1. Employees and applicants may be required to provide confidential medical information to allow the ADA Coordinator to: verify a disability; determine restrictions and accommodation recommendations related to performance of essential functions; verify the need for, timing of, and length of a medical leave.
  2. Confidential medical information may not be maintained in your UW Oshkosh personnel file.
  3. If an employee or applicant submits confidential medical information and documentation to you, it must be forwarded to the Director of Affirmative Action.
  4. All confidential medical information/documents are covered by the ADA regardless of the source.

Disability Accommodations

  1. Employees and applicants initially submit the confidential Disability Accommodation Request Form to Equal Opportunity, Equity & Affirmative Action as part of an interactive good faith effort to identify reasonable accommodations
  2. The ADA Coordinator reviews the request.
  3. The employee’s disability and accommodations are confidential; therefore, if known, you may not disclose this information to co-workers and staff.
  4. If the employee or applicant discusses his/her disability or accommodations with co-workers and staff, you need to advise the employee that such disclosures compromise your ability to maintain confidentiality.

  Supervisor Rights & Responsibilities

As a Manager or Supervisor, What are my ADA Responsibilities?
  • Base all employment decisions (application process, hiring, training, assignments, evaluation, promotion, discipline, and termination) on an applicant’s or employee’s qualifications and performance rather than a disability or need to accommodate.
  • Consult with the ADA Coordinator before making disability related decisions.
  • Follow procedures in the UW Oshkosh Disability Accommodation policy.
  • Provide appropriate disability information (accommodation policy, procedures, and request form) to applicants/employees who need accommodations.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding the disability and accommodations (no discussion with co-workers or colleagues, no medical records in personnel files).
  • Refer applicants/employees to the ADA Coordinator for information and/or assistance with disability accommodation procedures.
  • Review accommodations periodically to ensure that they are effective.
  • Respond to accommodation requests in a timely manner.

The ADA prohibits asking an applicant or employee whether he or she has a disability.

The ADA prohibits harassment and retaliation based on disability or the need for accommodation.

UW Oshkosh policy prohibits modifying or denying an accommodation request without a review by the ADA Coordinator.

UW Oshkosh policy requires that all accommodations be documented.

As a Manager or Supervisor, What are my ADA Rights?

Managers and Supervisors can expect employees to:

  • Inform them that a disability exists when an accommodation is needed.
  • Follow procedures in the UW Oshkosh disability accommodation policy.
  • Meet essential performance and attendance standards once accommodations are in place.
  • Provide medical verification and accommodation recommendations from a treating specialist to the ADA Coordinator when needed.

  Employee/Applicant Rights & Responsibilities

As an Employee, What are my ADA Rights?

Applicants and Employees can expect UW Oshkosh to:

  • Base all employment decisions on the applicant’s or employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of a position, with or without accommodations.
  • Engage in a good faith effort with the applicant or employee to identify reasonable accommodations.
  • Consult with the Director of Equal Opportunity, Equity & Affirmative Action to make decisions and respond to accommodation request in a timely manner.
As an Applicant or Employee, What are my ADA Responsibilities?
  • Inform Office of Equal Opportunity, Equity & Affirmative Action of the need for accommodations.
  • Engage in a good faith effort with ADA Coordinator to identify reasonable accommodations.
  • Submit a Reasonable_Accommodation_Request_Form to your supervisor.
  • Follow procedures in the UW Oshkosh disability accommodation policy.
  • Provide medical verification and accommodation recommendations from a treating specialist to ADA Coordinator when needed.

Only ADA Coordinators are authorized to request, receive and maintain confidential medical information and records on behalf of employing units. 

ADA confidentiality requirements apply to medical information and records for disability, Worker’s Compensation and all medical leave. 

  • Meet essential performance, behavior, and attendance standards after reasonable accommodations are provided.
  • Review accommodations periodically to ensure that they are effective.

Equal Opportunity, Equity & Affirmative Action

Securing equity and fairness at UW Oshkosh.