The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity’s Equal Opportunity and Equity unit presents the second installment of its “How-To” series of articles aimed toward informing the campus community about critical programs and services. (See also How-To Series #1: How to File a Report.)
NC State’s Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) works with other offices across campus in a continuous effort to provide equal opportunity to all Wolfpack members for programs, activities and services. Together with the Disability Resource Office, we may provide reasonable accommodations for employees and students. The office from which the individual requests the accommodation will vary depending on the type of accommodation that is requested (such as disability, religious or pregnancy) and who is requesting the accommodation (an employee or student). Both offices also work with campus partners to provide accommodations and resources depending on the needs of the individual.
Equal Opportunity and Equity (EOE)
NC State provides equal opportunity in all of its programs, activities and services as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 along with other applicable laws that prohibit disability discrimination. Equal Opportunity and Equity provides reasonable accommodations to employees at the university through an interactive process in addition to also handing complaints of discrimination or harassment based on disability.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that disability discrimination occurs when “an applicant or employee less favorably because have a history of a disability or because are believed to have a physical or mental impairment.” The EEOC explains that these protections also include individuals who experience discrimination based on their relationship to an individual with a disability, and states that the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations. EOE works with employees, including students, who may need a reasonable accommodation to be able to fulfill the essential job functions of their campus employment. Employees who would like to request a reasonable accommodation for a disability should visit the EOE website and complete the Request for Eligibility Form.
Disability Resource Office
In accordance with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), the Disability Resource Office (DRO) is the designated unit on campus where students with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations. DRO works diligently to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided an inclusive experience and equal opportunity to participate in courses and programs. DRO determines eligibility for accommodations for students with disabilities and serves as a resource for faculty by helping them understand their obligation to provide equal access. Students who are ready to begin the process with DRO should visit the DRO website.
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (applicant or employee) unfavorably because of their religious beliefs. The law requires employers to “reasonably accommodate religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business.” An individual who is interested in requesting a religious accommodation should contact EOE at either 919.513.0574 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to provide information about the type of accommodation needed and information about the belief, practice or observance.
In addition to providing accommodations due to disability and religion, EOE may also provide accommodations for individuals who are pregnant. Human Resources and Council on the Status of Women provide additional information and benefits to pregnant and parenting individuals. NC State provides twenty lactation spaces around campus that can be reserved. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, stating that “if a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer must treat her the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee.” Individuals who are interested in requesting pregnancy accommodations should contact Equal Opportunity and Equity at 919.513.0574 or via email to email@example.com.
Mia Thompson is the program coordinator for Equal Opportunity and Equity in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.