A COVID-19-related accommodation may occur for a set period of time, within the basic contract period, during which a faculty member’s, staff member's or graduate assistant's work assignment or terms and conditions of employment may be changed to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure for those who are at higher risk for severe illness as defined by the CDC or live with someone who is higher risk.
A faculty member, staff member or graduate assistant with a temporary adjustment in their workload duties or terms and conditions of employment will still be expected to complete all duties assigned during the contract period.
NOTE: Faculty, staff and graduate assistants are strongly encouraged to submit requests for modification for Spring 2021 between now and Nov. 1. Those who pre-applied and have supporting documentation on file with the ADA Coordinator and/or Medical Management only need to provide a plan for the Spring 2021 semester.
1. Discuss with Your Academic Leader/Supervisor
The faculty member, staff member or and graduate assistants should communicate with their supervisor or department chair/academic leaders as soon as possible and work with them to complete a draft modification plan. Completing the draft plan document prior to submitting the online request form significantly reduces the time required to process a modification request. However, the suggested plan is not guaranteed, and a final adjustment must be determined through an interactive process.
NOTE: It’s important to note that online classes and remote work assignments may not be available in every instance. Faculty members and graduate assistants should consider all possible accommodation options including:
- Switching class times or meeting patterns to a “safer” option (for example, teach a class one day a week, early evening when there are typically fewer students on campus).
- Having a mixed schedule of remote, face-to-face, hybrid teaching to reduce exposure. Requesting a larger room than minimum SDC.
- Requesting a classroom that allows for greater distancing between the instructor and the first row of students.
- Requesting specific PPE not typically provided to instructors (gloves, throw-away gown, etc.).
- Working with Facilities to identify access and exit routes that are less crowded.
- Requesting cleaning of instructor’s desk, door handles, etc., before class starts.
2. Submit the Request Form and Documentation
After completing Step 1, the faculty member, staff member or graduate student should then complete the online COVID-19 Accommodation Request Form. The form will go to the CoronavirusModification@mail.wvu.edu email. The faculty member, staff member or GA should then submit as soon as possible any supporting forms and/or documentation requested by the University’s ADA Coordinator (Jill Hess) and/or Medical Management (Marsha Payton).
3. Supervisor Notification
The University’s ADA Coordinator (Jill Hess) and/or Medical Management (Marsha Payton) sends an email to the appropriate dean, chair/academic leader or supervisor informing them who in their unit has filed a request for accommodation.
4. Review of Request
The University reviews the request in an interactive process with the ADA Coordinator or Medical Management and leadership (dean, chair/academic leader, supervisor, Provost’ etc.) to ensure that the modification is reasonable and does not present an undue hardship based on operational need. If a modification is not readily available, alternative and effective options will be considered during the interactive process.
5. Decision Notification
Formal decision notifications for requests submitted in this timeframe will be sent to appropriate deans, chairs/academic leaders, supervisors, and applicants in November.
Faculty should first direct all questions to their academic leader and then to the Office of the Provost at 304-293-2021 or WVUFaculty@mail.wvu.edu.