Carnegie Mellon University

Office of Disability Services Appeal Procedures

The Office of Disability Services in the Office of Human Resources has adopted the following appeal procedures for prompt and equitable resolution of disputes relating to disability accommodations. Individuals who file an appeal under these procedures are protected from retaliation as set forth in the university's Policy Against Retaliation.

Appeals of Accommodation Decisions

If an employee disagrees with the decision of the Office of Disability Services regarding a request for a reasonable accommodation, the employee may submit a request for reconsideration within 10 working days of the written decision. A request for reconsideration must be directed in writing to the Office of Disability Services.

Requests for reconsideration should include:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Job Title
  • Department
  • Supervisor
  • Date Accommodation was Requested
  • Date Accommodation was Denied
  • Type of Accommodations Requested or Approved
  • Reason for Appeal
  • Additional Comments

Upon receipt of the request for reconsideration, the Office of Disability Services will undertake a thorough review of the employee’s documentation and request for accommodations and may schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss the request in more detail. The Office of Disability Services will notify the employee of the decision within 30 days of receipt of the request for reconsideration.

Appeals of Reconsideration Decisions

If an employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of the request for reconsideration, the employee may submit a formal appeal to the assistant vice president for HR, People and Organizational Effectiveness (AVP-HR). Appeals must be submitted within seven calendar days of the reconsideration decision by the Office of Disability Services.

The AVP-HR review will determine whether:

  • proper procedures were followed, and all relevant information was gathered and fairly considered,
  • the requested accommodation presents an undue hardship, financial or administrative burden to the university,
  • the denial is supported by the record and was not arbitrary and capricious,
  • the denial complies with the law, and
  • any other factors the AVP-HR deems relevant to the matter.

The AVP-HR may request detailed information from the employee and the supervisor denying the request and may solicit additional information from or consult with those previously involved in the accommodation decision and others as appropriate.

The potential outcomes of an ADA appeal may include:

  • The decision to deny the accommodation is upheld.
  • The decision to deny the accommodation is overturned and the employee and the supervisor return to the interactive process to determine implementation of the accommodation.
  • The ADA administrator returns the issue to the interactive process with instruction to reevaluate
    the reasonable accommodation(s).
  • The appeal is dismissed for untimeliness or because the employee provided insufficient information initially or during the appeal review.

AVP-HR will issue a written decision on the appeal within 30 days or as soon thereafter as practical. If the 30 calendar day time limit cannot be met, the AVP-HR will inform the appealing party, the supervisor and any other parties of an alternative time limit, not to exceed 60 calendar days.

New or Modified Accommodation Requests During Appeal Process

These appeal procedures do not prohibit employees from requesting new or modified accommodations based on a change in circumstances, such as a new position, new job duties or activities, new medical conditions or disabilities, or changes to existing medical conditions or disabilities. Requests for new or modified accommodations should be submitted to the Office of Disability Services.