4-16: Employee Accessibility – Procedures

  1. American with Disabilities Act Overview
    1. These procedures adhere to the requirements set forth in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA).
    2. The ADA is a federal law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of life, including employment. The purpose of the law is to ensure people with disabilities are afforded the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
    3. Under Title I of the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees, as long as, the accommodation does not cause an undue hardship on the College.
    4. The ADA is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  2. Steps to the Accommodation Process
    1. The Interactive Process
      1. When the Employee with a Disability or Impairment requests an accommodation, the College must promptly engage in the interactive process.
      2. The interactive process is the interaction between the employee and their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources throughout the entirety of the accommodation process, including the steps involved in the determination of an accommodation and implementation of any accommodation.
      3. The interactive process is initiated as soon as an employee communicates a need for an accommodation to their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.
      4. The process may also be initiated by the supervisor approaching the employee in an effort to offer support if the supervisor recognizes their employee is struggling with performance.
      5. The interactive process includes the following:
        1. Initial communication between employee and their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources concerning the possible  need for an accommodation;
        2. Analysis of the essential functions and needs of the employee’s job;
        3. Gathering information or documentation related to the nature of the employee’s limitation, difficulty, or disability and determining whether a qualifying disability exist;
        4. Discussions governing the type of accommodation requested or needed;
        5. Final determination of a reasonable accommodation;
        6. Implementation of the reasonable accommodation; and,
        7. Monitoring of the accommodation to ensure the accommodation is effective.
  3. Accommodation Process
    1. The steps to the accommodation process are intended to be flexible and, within reason, adaptable to the needs of the individual employee. The process for existing employees generally involves these steps:
      1. If an employee finds that they are unable to perform their assigned job duties and believes that the reason they cannot perform them is due to a disability (as defined under the ADA or the New Mexico Human Rights Act ), the employee should immediately inform their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources of the situation, which initiates the interactive process.
        1. Supervisors and the Office of Human Resources must promptly engage in the interactive process with the employee that requests a reasonable accommodation. Failure to engage in the interactive process or failure to refer employees requesting accommodations to an appropriate official may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).
        2. Employees may seek a reasonable accommodation, formally or informally, which means the request may be in writing or made orally. No “magic words” are needed to make an accommodation request.
      2. If a supervisor is approached by an employee, the supervisor must immediately notify the Office of Human Resources of the situation.
      3. The Office of Human Resources will advise the supervisor regarding the accommodation process.
      4. The Office of Human Resources will then coordinate with the employee to secure necessary information from an appropriate medical authority confirming that the employee is indeed disabled as defined by the ADA and this policy, and describing the nature of the impairment and the limitations it imposes.
      5. The Office of Human Resources and the supervisor will review the current requirements of the employee’s position and determine whether or not the limitations described by the medical authority affect essential functions of the position.
      6. If it is determined that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the job due to the disability, the supervisor, the Office of Human Resources and the employee will review the position in an effort to identify ways to enable the employee to perform the essential elements with reasonable accommodation. Accommodation may include changes to the workplace, purchase of equipment, changes in the way the particular tasks are completed, or other measures designed to enable the employee to perform the position.
      7. If an accommodation is made, the supervisor, employee, and the Office of Human Resources will monitor the implementation of the accommodation for effectiveness or the development of any unforeseen, undue hardships on the College.
      8. If the supervisor, with assistance from the employee and the Office of Human Resources, is unable to identify reasonable accommodations that enable the employee to perform the job, the Office of Human Resources will seek to identify other positions that the employee may perform with or without reasonable accommodation.
      9. The President may approve a waiver of advertisement to enable a disabled employee to fill an alternative position within the College.
      10. If there are no alternative positions available, the employee may be medically terminated.
      11. If the person with the disability is an applicant for a particular position, the person may request accommodation from the Office of Human Resources for the purposes of completing the application and screening process. The person with the disability will be evaluated for the position to determine whether they are a qualified applicant for the position in question, and then whether they can perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation. In coordination with Human Resources, the hiring authority may request that the employee demonstrate how they will perform the essential job functions.Supervisors must always report to the Office of Human Resources in situations where a medical issue or a possible disability issue exists to ensure compliance with the latest ADA requirements.
  4. Retaliation Prohibited
    1. Retaliation against an individual for reporting suspected discrimination, participating in an investigation of discrimination, or opposing discriminatory practices is strictly prohibited.
    2. Any employee who either retaliates against another for doing so may be subject to discipline (SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action).

Contact:          Yash Morimoto, Ph.D., Vice President for Strategy & Organizational Effectiveness,, 505-428-1765

Donna Castro, Chief Human Resources Officer
, 505-428-1019


Updated:        10/12/2022