Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 203.2
Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Medical Conditions – Employment Accommodations
- Policy Statement
- It is the policy of the University of Arkansas (University) to provide equal access and opportunity to Qualified Employees in compliance with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000gg – 2000gg-6. The University prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in all aspects of the application process and the employment relationship.
- The University will provide Reasonable Accommodations to the Known Limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of a Qualified Employee, unless the accommodation would impose an Undue Hardship on the operation of the business of the University.
- The University will not require a Qualified Employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions to accept an accommodation other than any Reasonable Accommodation arrived at through the Interactive Process.
- The University will not deny employment opportunities to a Qualified Employee if such denial is based on the need of the University to make Reasonable Accommodations to the Known Limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of the Qualified Employee
- The University will not require a Qualified Employee to take leave, whether paid or unpaid, if another Reasonable Accommodation can be provided to the Known Limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of the Qualified Employee.
- The University will not take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of
employment against a Qualified Employee on account of the employee requesting or using
a Reasonable Accommodation to the Known Limitations related to the pregnancy, childbirth,
or related medical conditions of the employee.
- Scope of Application
- This policy applies to all applicants seeking employment with the University and University employees. Accommodations for students (including graduate assistants) pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, are addressed through the University’s Title IX Policy.
- Except as described in specific University policies, the policies and procedures concerning
accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions for Applicants
and Qualified Employees are coordinated by the Title IX Office in the Equal Opportunity,
Compliance & Title IX Department.
Contact information is as follows:
Title IX Office
Attn: Director of Title IX Compliance/Title IX Coordinator
125 Administration Building
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-7111 (office)
(479) 575-3646 (tdd)
- The term “Applicant” means any individual pursuing employment with the University by submitting appropriate application materials for a specific, vacant position.
- The term “Essential Functions” means job activities that are determined by the employer to be essential or core to performing the job. A function may be essential because, for example, the position exists to perform the function; there are a limited number of employees available who could perform the function; and/or the function is highly specialized, and the incumbent is hired for special expertise or ability to perform it.
- The term “Interactive Process” means collaboration and communication between the employer (University officials) and employee to explore, discuss and determine the appropriate Reasonable Accommodation(s), if any. The employer and employee are expected to engage in the Interactive Process in a “good faith” manner.
- The term ‘‘Known Limitation’’ means physical or mental condition related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions that the employee or employee’s representative has communicated to the University.
- The term ‘‘Qualified Employee’’ means an employee or Applicant who, with or without Reasonable Accommodation, can
perform the Essential Functions of the employment position, except that an employee
or Applicant shall be considered qualified if—
- any inability to perform an Essential Function is for a temporary period;
- the Essential Function could be performed in the near future; and
- the inability to perform the Essential Function can be reasonably accommodated.
- The term “Reasonable Accommodation” means a modification, exception or a change to how things are customarily done in
a position, practice, policy or the work environment that enables a qualified person
an opportunity to be considered for a position, perform the Essential Functions of
a position, or enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed
by similarly situated Applicants or employees. The University’s obligation under the
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is to provide Reasonable Accommodation for pregnancy,
childbirth, or related medical conditions, not necessarily the individual’s preferred
Examples of Reasonable Accommodationsi may include, but are not limited to, making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, auxiliary aids and services, and other similar accommodations.
- The term “Undue Hardship” ii means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light
of a number of factors, such as the nature and cost of the accommodation needed; the
effect or impact of the accommodation upon the unit or department and its operation;
the University’s size, financial resources, and the nature of its structure or operation.
Undue Hardship also refers to an accommodation that is unduly extensive, substantial,
or disruptive, or one that would fundamentally alter the nature of the position. Undue
Hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Documentation obtained in connection with a request for Reasonable Accommodation shall be maintained by the Title IX Coordinator in files separate from the individual’s personnel file. Such information should be restricted to a need-to-know basis. The Title IX Coordinator may share certain information with an employee’s supervisor or other University official(s) as necessary to make appropriate determinations on a Reasonable Accommodation request. Employees receiving such information in connection with the Reasonable Accommodation process must keep the information confidential.
- The fact that a Reasonable Accommodation has been requested or approved and information about functional limitation is also confidential.
- Employees are not required nor encouraged to disclose medical information or information
about an impairment(s) to their supervisors.
- Accommodation Requests
- Qualified Employees
- Request Process. A Qualified Employee seeking a Reasonable Accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth,
or related medical conditions should submit the Pregnancy Accommodation Request, along
with Medical Statement Forms (if applicable), to the Title IX Coordinator via the
Title IX website. The accommodation request will not be processed without the completed
Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form. The Medical Statement Form may be required.
If a Qualified Employee notifies a supervisor of a need for a Reasonable Accommodation for a pregnancy,iii childbirth, or related medical condition, the supervisor should inform the Qualified Employee that the University has established procedures for determining Reasonable Accommodations on a case-by-case basis and refer the Qualified Employee to the Title IX Coordinator. Questions regarding an employee’s non-pregnancy- or childbirth-related medical condition should continue to be referred to the University’s ADA Coordinator.
- Assessment of Limitation. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form to
determine whether the Qualified Employee has a Known Limitation, as defined above.
If there are additional limitations resulting from medical conditions that relate
to pregnancy or childbirth, the Title IX Coordinator may refer the request to the
ADA Coordinator for assessment under the Accommodation Policy (FPP 203.1). The ADA
Coordinator, in consultation with Title IX Coordinator, will contact the medical
provider if additional information is needed to determine if the Qualified Employee
has a Known Limitation or to assist in determining an effective Reasonable Accommodation.
In the event the ADA Coordinator determines it is appropriate to obtain an independent medical opinion concerning the limitation for which the accommodation is sought, the University will bear the cost of the independent medical evaluation. Failure to cooperate in obtaining an independent medical evaluation may result in cancellation of the request for accommodation.
- Interactive Process. The Title IX Coordinator will facilitate the Interactive Process with the Qualified Employee, the appropriate supervisor(s), Department Human Resources Representative (if designated) and other University officials, as appropriate.
- Documentation. At the conclusion of the Interactive Process, the Title IX Coordinator will ensure
that the outcome of the process is documented and will work with the Qualified Employee’s
supervisor and the Qualified Employee regarding the implementation of any Reasonable
Accommodations that are approved. IV
In the event that a requested accommodation is not approved because it would constitute an Undue Hardship, the Title IX Coordinator will document the basis for that determination in consultation with the supervisor. The supervisor will be required to provide a statement supporting Undue Hardship to the Title IX Coordinator.
- Request Process. A Qualified Employee seeking a Reasonable Accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions should submit the Pregnancy Accommodation Request, along with Medical Statement Forms (if applicable), to the Title IX Coordinator via the Title IX website. The accommodation request will not be processed without the completed Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form. The Medical Statement Form may be required.
- An Applicant requesting a Reasonable Accommodation in the application/selection process should submit a Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form to the Title IX Coordinator via the Title IX website. The Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form should be submitted prior to the posting closing date and as a soon as possible prior to the interview to allow enough time to process the request. The Applicant may or may not need to submit a Medical Statement Form to assist the Title IX Coordinator in determining if the Applicant is an individual with a Known Limitation or to assist in determining an effective accommodation.
- Applicants needing assistance or information may contact the Title IX Office, email@example.com or (479) 575-7111.
- If the request for a Reasonable Accommodation is made to someone with responsibility for the hiring process, that person should refer the Applicant to the appropriate HR Partner or other appropriate official for assistance. For additional assistance is requested, the Applicant, HR Partner, or hiring authority may contact the Title IX Coordinator.
- Qualified Employees
Primary documentation pertaining to the Reasonable Accommodation request for Applicants seeking employment and Qualified Employees will be kept in the Title IX Office.
All first-time supervisors or newly hired supervisors are expected to participate in training concerning accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions within the first three months of beginning employment and will receive a copy of this policy at that time. Supervisors/managers are expected to receive refresher training at least every three years.
- Administrative Review
- A Qualified Employee may request an administrative review of a denial of an accommodation request under this policy by the Executive Director of OEOC.
- The administrative review may be based only on one or more of the following reasons:
- If the decision is contradictory to University policy or applicable law; or
- The Interactive Process did not substantially comply with the guidelines in this policy.
- The request for administrative review must be submitted within five (5) business days after the Qualified Employee has received the official decision notice in writing. The Executive Director shall communicate his or her decision in writing and the decision is final and not subject to further appeal.
- A Qualified Employee may contact the Title IX Coordinator with any questions about the administrative review process.
- An Applicant may contact the Title IX Coordinator with any questions about the denial
of an accommodation request under this policy.
Any Applicant or Qualified Employee who believes that they have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions or retaliated against due to an accommodation request should contact OEOC at (479) 575-4019 (voice), (479) 575-3646 (tdd), or firstname.lastname@example.org. Any supervisor or other administrator who receives a written or oral complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation concerning pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall promptly notify OEOC.
- Nothing in this policy shall be construed as creating rights or obligations in excess of any requirements of applicable law and regulations.
- Any questions regarding interpretation of this policy and procedures can be referred to OEOC at (479) 575-4019.
[i]These are examples of possible accommodations, but the type received is based on the particular facts of each individual request (on a case-by-case basis). Reasonable Accommodations do not include personal use items needed to accomplish daily activities.
[ii]A determination of Undue Hardship should be grounded in careful analysis, and not
based on improper attitudes toward the individual’s Known Limitation. Nor can Undue
Hardship be based on the fact that provision of a Reasonable Accommodation might have
a negative impact on the morale of other employees. However, an Undue Hardship may
exist where provision of a Reasonable Accommodation would be unduly disruptive to
other employees’ ability to work.
[iii]The Qualified Employee or Applicant does not need to use the words, “Reasonable Accommodation,” but may simply state that they need an adjustment, modification, assistance or change at work due to a Known Limitation, or in the application process due to the nature of their Known Limitation.
[iv]A supervisor, Qualified Employee, or Applicant may request to revisit an approved accommodation for possible adjustments at any time by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.
June 27, 2023