Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

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For Faculty: Medical Accommodations and Non-Medical Work Modifications

Last updated: 3/9/22

A medical accommodation may be granted when an individual has a physical or mental impairment which requires an accommodation in order for them to safely and effectively perform the essential functions of their job. When an individual requests an accommodation, OHR will engage the individual in an interactive process. OHR will gather information from the individual and their treating physician to understand the physical or mental impairment involved to determine whether the condition qualifies as a disability, and to discuss possible accommodations. Examples include: a faculty member has or is recovering from COVID-19 or other illness, is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or has a disability (unrelated to COVID-19) and is seeking an accommodation.

Non-medical work modification involves personal concerns and may include circumstances such as unvaccinated children at home, an immunosuppressed household member, or childcare concerns related to remote schooling or closures. They are considered "non-medical" because they do not involve the faculty member's personal medical condition. The modification will be approved by the department head/unit lead and the dean.

They may be. An individual who has a mental impairment that qualifies as a disability may be granted a medical accommodation. When an individual requests an accommodation based on a mental health impairment, OHR will engage the individual in an interactive process. OHR will gather information from the individual and their treating physician to understand the mental impairment involved to determine whether the condition qualifies as a disability, and to discuss possible accommodations. The faculty member would address their request for medical accommodation with OHR.

The faculty member should submit a Request for Accommodations Form with Human Resources’ Office of Disability Services. This will initiate an interactive process to evaluate your request where you will be asked to provide medical information to Disability Services. The medical information you provide will be kept confidential. A Disability Services representative will work with you, and your department head, to explore the most appropriate solution on a case-by-case basis. Additional information can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/hr/work-life/accommodations/index.html.

The faculty should talk to their department head, school head, or unit lead to request a non-medical work modification. The head will confer with the dean on the request. Once granted, the request may be reviewed on a regular basis.

No. You do not have to provide details of your household’s or family member’s medical condition in order to request a non-medical work adjustment.

They may be made for either, but it is recommended to revisit them on a regular basis (e.g., every three weeks; at the end of a mini) in order to determine if they are still necessary.

A faculty member can contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty (vpfaculty@andrew.cmu.edu) for questions about non-medical work modifications.