University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Guidelines for Reasonable Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities

Introduction

It is our desire as well as our legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in their current positions. However, when an individual is no longer able to perform the essential functions of their job, we must consider reassignment to vacant positions for which the employee is qualified. When these arrangements can be made it benefits the University and the employee by retaining a valued employee.

The following guidelines create a priority placement list for employees who can no longer be reasonably accommodated in their current positions. Reassignment will be considered only to vacant or open positions for which the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. It is modeled after the civil service layoff list, which similarly permits people who lose their employment at the University through no fault of their own to return to the University as an employee if a position for which they are qualified becomes available within two years. Priority placement limits reassignment to positions for which the employee is qualified and which would not constitute a promotion.

The guidelines are intended to cover all employees – Faculty, Academic staff, Civil Service staff and those covered by collective bargaining agreements. Appropriate consultation with collective bargaining representatives will occur before any implementation affecting employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Just as with the layoff list, no department will be forced to accept an employee who is not qualified to perform the job, nor will any employee be bumped to make room for an employee with a disability.

Guidelines

  1. Reasonable accommodations for employees with a disability will be considered first within their present position.
  2. If a reasonable accommodation is not possible in the employee's current position, reassignment to a vacant position within the current department for which the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job will be considered.
  3. If the employee cannot be reasonably accommodated within the department, the individual will be considered for priority placement to a vacant position anywhere else in the University for which the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. Chancellors/provosts/vice presidents are responsible for reassignment of employees within their units.
  4. The following principles apply to priority placements:

    • Reassignments will be considered to equivalent or lesser positions for which the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions.
    • Factors to be considered in determining equivalent or lesser positions includes responsibilities, compensation and status. Compensation is considered equivalent if it is within 10% of the employee's current salary.
    • The employee will be offered no more than one equivalent and one lesser position.
    • As a general guideline, the employee will remain on the priority placement list for a maximum of two years.
    • If the employee accepts any position, the employee is no longer on the priority placement list.
    • If the employee rejects an offer of an equivalent position, the employee is no longer on the priority placement list.
    • If the employee rejects an offer of a lesser position, the employee loses all priority placement rights for other lesser positions and the University will only consider equivalent positions.
  5. Reassigned employees will complete the prescribed probationary period, if otherwise required under the applicable Civil Service Rules or collective bargaining agreement governing the new position.