4118.14 - Personnel-Certified/Non-Certified - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities

Policy 4118.14/4218.14

Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities 


The Board of Education prohibits discrimination against any individual with a disability with regard to recruitment, advertisement and job application procedures; hiring, upgrading, promotion, awarding of tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, right of return from layoff, employee compensation, job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression and seniority lists, leaves of absence, sick leave or other leaves, fringe benefits or job training.

Federal law defines a person with a disability as one who (1) has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as, but not limited to, caring for one’s self; performing manual tasks walking, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, reading, writing, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, speaking, breathing, learning or working; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. The Board will afford qualified disabled individuals reasonable accommodations. The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized that individuals with a communicable disease may be considered disabled.

The Board of Education recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel, students, parents and members of the public who participate in school-sponsored programs. No discrimination against any person with a disability will be knowingly permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.

With regard to its employees, the Board specifically prohibits discrimination against any individual with a qualified disability with regard to recruitment, hiring, promotion or advancement, compensation, evaluation, training, or any other aspect of employment within the school system. The Board will afford qualified disabled individuals reasonable accommodations in accordance with state and federal law.

Disabled employees who can no longer perform essential job functions are encouraged to advise their supervisors or administrators of the nature of their disability and which functions cannot be performed. The Board will consider any reasonable suggestions of accommodation that would enable performance of those functions so long as the accommodation will not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the school system. The term “disability” shall be broadly construed. The determination of whether an individual has a disability should not demand extensive analysis.

A person is not qualified to perform his/her duties if his/her medical condition or disability poses a threat to health or safety of individuals in the workplace.

Persons, including employees of the district, that feel they may have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability should contact the Director of Human Resources.

Employees seeking accommodations for a disability in order to perform essential job functions are encouraged to contact their supervisors or administrators and/or the Director of Human Resources.

(cf. 0521 - Nondiscrimination)
(cf. 4112.4/4212.4 - Health Examinations)

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
10-209 Records not to be public.
19-581 AIDS testing and medical information.
46a-60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.
Federal Law
Section 504 and the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 20 U.S.C. 706(7)(b).
American Disability Act of 1989, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et. seq., as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008
29 CFR, Part 1630, Regulations to Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, published in the Federal Register, Vo. 76, No. 58, 3/25/11
Chalk v. The United States District Court of Central California.
Amendments of Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II and Title III, Regulation to Implement ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Federal Register, Vol. 81, No. 155 (28 CFR Parts 35 & 36)

Policy adopted:    November 21, 2017            
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut

Regulation 4118.14(a)
4218.14

Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disabilities


In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Board of Education (Board) does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in the District’s services, programs or activities.

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Board does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Definitions

Person with a Disability:  An individual who (1) has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is considered a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

Mental or Physical Impairments:  Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin and endocrine. They also cover any mental or psychological disorder, such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or physical illness, and specific learning disabilities.  This includes, but is not limited to, contagious and non-contagious diseases and conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, emotional illness, dyslexia, and other specific learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism. It does not include homosexuality or bisexuality.

Major Life Activities:  Major life activities include, but are not limited to, (i) caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, writing, concentrating, thinking, communication, interacting with others, and working; and (ii) the operation of a major bodily function, including functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin; normal cell growth; and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

Substantially Limits:  This term shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA. It is not meant to be a demanding standard. Consistent with the Amendments to the ADA (ADAAA), “rules of construction” are to be used when determining if an individual is substantially limited in performing a major life activity.

Has a Record of Such an Impairment:  In general, this term means if an individual has a history of, or has been misclassified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This shall be construed broadly and not demand extensive analysis. An individual with a record of a substantially limiting impairment may be entitled, absent undue hardship to the district, to a reasonable accommodation if needed and related to the past disability.

Determination of Disability Requiring Accommodation

“Rules of construction” are to be used when determining if an individual is substantially limited in performing a major life activity. These rules include the following:

1.    The impairment substantially limits the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity, as compared to most people in the general population. It need not prevent or severely or significantly limit a major life activity. Not every impairment will constitute a disability.

2.    The term “substantially limits” should be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. “Substantially limits” is not meant to be a demanding standard.

3.    The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity requires an individual assessment, but should not demand/require extensive analysis.

4.    Although determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity as compared to most people will not usually require scientific, medical or statistical evidence, such evidence may be used if appropriate.

5.    An individual need not be substantially limited or have a record of a substantial limitation, in one major life activity to be covered under the first or second prong of the definition of “disability.”

6.    An impairment that is episodic or in remission meets the definition of “disability” if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. (Impairments that may be episodic include epilepsy, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, major depression disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Cancer that is in remission but that may possibly return in a substantially limiting form is also considered a disability.)

7.    Mitigating measures, including but not limited to, medications, medical equipment and devices, prosthetic limbs, low vision devices, hearing aids, mobility devices, oxygen therapy equipment, use of assistive technology, reasonable accommodations, learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and physical therapy, shall not be used in the determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. (Eyeglasses and contact lenses shall, however, be considered.) The determination of disability must focus on whether the individual would be substantially limited in performing a major life activity without the mitigating standard.

8.    An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not substantially limit other major life activities to be considered a substantially limiting impairment.

9.    Impairments that last fewer than six months do not apply to the definition of “disability.” The effects of an impairment lasting or expected to last fewer than six months can be substantially limiting.

Medical Examinations

The school Board may make pre employment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job related functions. Medical examinations may be required after an offer of employment has been extended to an applicant and before commencement of employment duties. Any information obtained from such medical examinations will be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and will treated with confidentially.

An employee, who is not qualified to perform their duties or whose medical condition or disability poses a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace, once properly established by medical evidence and after proper due process procedures, may be relieved of their duties or reassigned.

The Board of Education may lawfully refuse to assign a person having a communicable disease, which is transmittable through the handling of food, to such duty or position as specified in the Federal Register Food and Drug Administration Regulations of May, 1991.

Privacy

The confidentiality of medical records of applicants or employees shall be strictly observed in accordance with the state and federal laws. Medical records shall be maintained separately from an applicant or employee personnel file. Such information may be released in limited circumstances:
A.    Upon signed release by the individual;
B.    To inform supervisor or administrator about any restriction or accommodation to accomplish work or duties of the employee;
C.    Emergency medical treatment;
D.    In compliance with state or federal law.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-581 through 585, “Aids Testing and Medical Information,” provides that no person shall request HIV-related testing or disclose HIV-related information without written or oral informed consent of such individual.

Alternative Accommodations

The Supreme Court has recognized that individuals with contagious diseases will be considered as having a disability. Disabled employees who can no longer perform essential job functions are encouraged to advise their administrators of the nature of their disability, indicating which functions cannot be performed and suggest accommodations that would enable them to perform those functions. Accommodations will be considered if such accommodation does impose an undue hardship on the operation of the school system. 

An employee is not qualified to perform his/her duties, whose medical condition or disability poses a direct threat to health or safety of individuals in the workplace, if it has been properly established by medical evidence and the employee has been afforded proper procedural due process safeguards.

Grievance Procedure

A.    In the event an employee believes that there has been discrimination on the basis of his/her disability, he or she shall mail or deliver to the Superintendent of Schools a written statement setting out the alleged violations in specific terms, describing the incident or activity involved, the individuals involved and the dates, times, and locations involved.

B.    If the individual who files the written statement so requests, the Superintendent of Schools shall provide that person with an opportunity to discuss the matter personally.

C.    The Superintendent shall investigate the complaint and render a decision in writing within thirty (30) days.

D.    If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the Superintendent of Schools, the complainant may appeal to the Board of Education within ten (10) days of receipt of the decision of the Superintendent.

E.    Such an appeal shall be filed in writing with the Superintendent of Schools in his capacity as the executive agent of the Board of Education.

F.    The Board of Education shall cause the complaint to be investigated and, if it deems necessary, conduct a hearing to gather additional information.

G.    The Board of Education shall render a decision on any such appeal, in writing, within twenty (20) days of its being filed, or if a hearing should be held, within twenty (20) days of the conclusion of such hearing.

(cf. 0521 – Nondiscrimination)
(cf. 4112.4/4212.4 – Health Examinations)

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
19 581 through 585 AIDS testing and medical information.
10 209 Records not to be public.
46a 60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.
Section 504 and the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 20 U.S.C. 706 (7)(b).
American Disability Act of 1989, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
29 CFR, Part 1630, Regulations to Implement the Equal Employment Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, published in the Federal Register, Vo. 76, No. 58, 3/25/11.
Chalk v. The United States District Court of Central California, 840F.2d701 (9th Cir. 1988).
Amendments of Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II and Title III, Regulation to Implement ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Federal Register, Vol. 81, No. 155 (28 CFR Parts 35 & 36)

Regulation approved:    November 21, 2017            
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut

Appendix

Specific Impairments Considered to be Disabilities

As indicated in the implementing regulations to the ADA, the following impairments should be easily concluded to be disabilities: 

    Autism
    Bipolar Disorder
    Blindness
    Cancer
    Cerebral Palsy
    Deafness
    Diabetes
    Epilepsy
    HIV Infection
    Intellectual Disability
    Major Depression Disorder
    Bipolar Disorder
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Mobility impairment requiring use of a wheelchair
    Muscular Dystrophy
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    Partially or completely missing limbs
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
    Schizophrenia

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW THE SECTION 504/ADA EMPLOYEE REQUEST FOR ACCOMMODATION FORM PLEASE CLICK THE PDF ICON AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE