Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Employees | Policies

TC Web Authentication
Welcome!Log In

Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Employees

Owner: Human Resources

Policy Statement

Teachers College (“TC”) as an employer is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to its employees[1] for the categories listed below that will allow them to perform the essential functions/requirements of their job, so long as such accommodations do not cause undue hardship in the conduct of TC’s business. 

The New York City Human Rights Law requires NYC employers to engage in a "cooperative dialogue" with employees who may be entitled to reasonable accommodations related to:

  1. Disability
  2. Religious needs
  3. Pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, or
  4. Needs as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses or stalking


Cooperative Dialogue: The process by which an employer and employee engage in good faith in a written or oral dialogue concerning an employee’s accommodation needs; potential accommodations that may address the employee’s accommodation needs, including alternatives to a requested accommodation; and the difficulties that such potential accommodations may pose for the employer.

Disability: Any physical, medical, mental, or psychological impairment, or a history or record of such impairment, including a full range of sensory, mental, physical mobility, developmental, learning, and psychological disabilities—whether they are visible and apparent or not.

Reasonable Accommodation: An accommodation that can be made that does not cause undue hardship in the conduct of TC’s business.

Religion or Creed: Includes traditional, organized religions but also religious beliefs, including those that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect. All aspects of religious belief and observance that are sincerely held will be considered as part of this policy.

Undue Hardship: Significant expense or difficulty based on TC’s resources and circumstances in relationship to the cost or difficulty of providing a specific accommodation. Undue hardship may refer to financial difficulty in providing an accommodation or accommodations that are unduly expensive, substantial, disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of TC’s business, or the essential functions of the employee’s job. Accommodations which significantly interfere with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or with a bona fide seniority system will often present an undue hardship.

Steps to the Cooperative Dialogue Process

  1. When a supervisor/manager learns, either directly or indirectly[2], that an employee requires a workplace accommodation related to one of the four categories listed above, TC will engage in good faith with the employee in written or oral dialogue to discuss the employee’s requested accommodation needs.
  2. As part of the process, the employee may be required to provide documentation to support their requested accommodation (e.g. medical documentation confirming a disability).
  3. If TC cannot meet the employee’s request without an undue hardship being placed on TC, then it will discuss the difficulties that the request would pose for TC and will suggest potential alternatives with the employee that may address the employee’s needs.
  4. TC and the employee will continue these good faith discussions until either the request for the accommodation is granted or denied.
  5. Once the cooperative dialogue is complete when an accommodation is granted or denied, TC will provide the employee with a written final determination that identifies any accommodation that was granted or denied.

*The cooperative dialogue will be managed by the offices listed below, in collaboration with the employee’s supervisor(s) and the Office of Human Resources.

* Employees will consult with the Office of Human Resources to determine the impact an accommodation may have on their employee benefits, including vacation and personal time. 

Making a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation 

Requests for an accommodation related to a disability are to be made to:

The Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (OASID)

Zankel Hall, Room 301

(212) 678-3689


Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services:

Video phone: (646) 755-3144

Fax: (212) 678-3793


Requests for an accommodation related to:


(1) religious needs;

(2) pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, or

(3) needs as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses or stalking


are to be made to:


The Office for Diversity and Community Affairs

128 Zankel Hall

(212) 678-3689



Responsible Office: Office of Human Resources

Effective Date: October 2018

Last Updated: October 2019


[1] This policy also applies to job applicants who TC learns require an accommodation related to the categories listed above. 

[2] Supervisors and managers could indirectly learn of an employee’s accommodation need from another person (i.e. second hand).  They could also indirectly learn of an employee’s accommodation need if they have knowledge that an employee’s performance at work is diminished or that their behavior at work could lead to an adverse employment action, and (2) there is a reasonable basis to believe that the issue is related to an accommodation need.

Back to skip to quick links