Update on request for medical documentation
The authorization forms that are being sent to employees who are requesting an accommodation have been used for years. The district is aware that they need to be updated and are working on this
The district does not necessarily need 3 years of medical records, they do need sufficient documentation to evaluate your accommodation request. Tammi McBroom communicates to employees during the interactive process that the district needs recent and relative medical records related to their accommodation request. For example, if an employee has asthma and they are requesting a workplace accommodation, the district will need medical verification from the care provider treating them for asthma.
I asked Sarah Kriewall (Director of Employee Services) for a statement so that I can share consistent, accurate information that comes from the district. Here is that statement:
Through the reasonable accommodation request process, the law allows an employer to ask questions and request medical documentation to determine whether the employee’s disability necessitates an accommodation. The law requires that all medical information about an employee be stored separately from the employee’s personnel file, thus limiting access to this confidential information.
Possible questions an employer may ask you after receiving the documentation could include: (1) how the disability creates a limitation, (2) how the requested accommodation will effectively address the limitation, (3) whether another form of accommodation could effectively address the issue, and (4) how a proposed accommodation will enable the employee to continue performing the “essential functions” of their position.
The district is working within a very tight timeline. Without completed paperwork, time to review the paperwork and if necessary, speak with the employee – they will not be able to process the requests. If an employee is uncomfortable providing information to the district or is unwilling to answer general questions about their request then the district will be unable to provide necessary accommodations.
AHPA recommends that you comply with district requests for appropriate documentation if you are in need of accommodations due to having a diagnosed condition that puts you at high risk (per CDC guidelines) should you be exposed to COVID19.
- Employees who are at high risk (per CDC guidelines), and have shared documentation verifying their need for an accommodation, will be provided appropriate accommodation options.
- Employees who live with someone who is at high risk (per CDC guidelines), will be considered next for a workplace modification. The district is under no legal obligation to extend this but will consider it to the extent possible.
I am serving on many planning committees, several of them are listed in the Guidebook that was sent out to parents and staff on August 3rd.
I want to assure you that staff and parent concerns are not being taken lightly. The very human element that makes up these committees are dedicated to addressing concerns and making the hybrid option as safe as possible for students and staff while following the guidelines provided.
A few of the (non-safety) issues I have addressed during these committee meetings are:
- Paraeducators need to be listed as Admin or co-teacher on Google classrooms so that they are best able to support students.
- Everyone is respectful of the paraeducator’s role when it comes to “other duties as assigned”.
- I have asked for clarification on whether or not paraeducators should be contacting the parents of students who are not participating in distance learning. Waiting on clarification.
- Paraeducators need to be provided the same training that teachers receive, if the training is necessary for us to better support students.
- I asked for clarification regarding working with SpEd students and was told: If you are a SpEd para and there are no immediate needs for a SpEd student, you should assist a student who needs support that is not SpEd. A SpEd paraeducator cannot be pulled from working with a SpEd student to support a student who is not SpEd
Keep in mind that the FAQs and other documents/resources that the district makes available to staff and parents are updated as more information is available. Check them often.
https://www.ahschools.us/covid-19 Covid-19 Homepage https://www.ahschools.us/domain/11867 District Communications
ahschools.us/COVID-19guidebook Covid-19 Guidebook
firstname.lastname@example.org Email to get questions answered
COVID-19 work comp faq New law FAQs: Workers’ compensation coverage
coronavirus/stats/wschool.pdf 14-day COVID-19 Case Rate by County