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Job Accommodation and the Interactive Process: The Supervisor's Role

Learn about your role as a supervisor in determining job accommodation if a faculty or staff member is disabled or becomes disabled due to a medical condition.

1. Identify the need for a faculty or staff member's job accommodation.

Identify this need through:

  • Observation
  • Verbal or written notice from the faculty or staff member
  • Medical note from the faculty or staff member’s licensed treatment provider

2. Involve UC San Diego DisAbility Counseling and Consulting or Health System.

  • For campus funded staff, contact DisAbility Counseling and Consulting (DCC), (858) 534-6744, or for Health System funded staff, contact (619) 543-3083 to:

    • Receive guidance on the interactive process
    • Obtain other necessary forms
    • Request an interactive process meeting
    • Fax the latest licensed treatment provider's statement or other completed form for campus funded staff to the DCC counselor, (858) 534-0190

Note: Do not ask the faculty or staff member for confidential medical information. Ask for information about how the medical condition affects the faculty or staff member's abilities to perform job functions. Be aware that information provided regarding the faculty or staff member's medical condition is confidential.

3. Begin the interactive process in a timely manner.

  • Identify job-related abilities and limitations with your faculty or staff member, unless limitations are obvious.
  • Encourage employee to contact DisAbility Counseling and Consulting (DCC), (858) 534-6744, for resource support. If not provided, ask the faculty or staff member to obtain medical documentation of job-related abilities and limitations to support job accommodation. Documentation may include a completed:
    • Statement from a licensed treatment provider
    • Family and Medical Leave Certification (PDF)

4. Participate in the interactive process meetings.

  • Identify the faculty or staff member's essential and non-essential functions using the job description.
    • Consider whether your faculty or staff member's limitations are temporary or permanent, as indicated by a licensed treatment provider.
  • Determine if the limitations interfere with the faculty or staff member performing the job function in the traditional way.
  • Identify possible job accommodations:
    • Discuss which job accommodation request may be reasonable or may cause undue hardship on your department.
  • Complete the Job Accommodation Interactive Process form provided by the counselor, indicating:
    • A clear explanation of your objective analysis of reasonable and unreasonable job accommodation requests
    • Why an unreasonable job accommodation would cause undue hardship on your department
  • If a reasonable job accommodation cannot be identified:
    • Consider alternate vacancies within your department or vice chancellor area
    • Discuss reassignment assistance available through DisAbility Counseling and Consulting, (DCC)

5. Implement selected job accommodation.

Document the selected job accommodation and sign the Job Accommodation Interactive Process form. Include:

  • Start date of accommodation
  • Costs associated with the accommodation

6. Follow up on the accommodation.

  • Discuss the accommodation regularily with your faculty or staff member to assess satisfaction and determine effectiveness.
  • If accommodation is unsuccessful, continue the interactive process to evaluate other accommodations.
For more information, campus funded staff contact DisAbility Counseling and Consulting: (858) 534-6744 or Health funded staff, contact (619) 543-3200.
Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.