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Spring 2021 Update

Many employees will continue to telework to manage campus density through March 31, 2021. If you had an accommodation allowing you to telework in the fall 2020 semester and have not been asked by your school, department, or supervisor to return to work on campus, you do not need to contact the EOC for an extension of your accommodation.  You should follow any instructions regarding telework from your school, department, or supervisor.

  • Accommodation Extensions:  If you have been instructed to return to work on campus and want to request an extension of your prior accommodation allowing you to telework because of your own high-risk health status, contact the EOC at eoc-covid19@unc.edu and indicate that you would like to request an extension.  You do not need to submit any documentation with your email.  In most cases, the EOC will be able to rely on your previously-submitted documentation but will let you know if updated paperwork is required.
  • Workplace Flexibility Extensions:  If you have been instructed to return to work on campus and want to request an extension of your prior workplace flexibility arrangement allowing you to telework for reasons other than your own health status (i.e., age, child or elder care responsibilities, living with or caring for someone who is high risk, or other concerns), contact your dean, department chair, or supervisor to make that request.
  • New Requests:  If you need to make a new request for accommodations or workplace flexibility for spring 2021 due to COVID-19, please follow the instructions below.

Teleworking accommodations and flexibility arrangements for spring 2021 will generally be approved only through March 31, 2021. Information about telework options for April 2021 and later will be provided prior to March 31, 2021.

If you need accommodations because you have a health condition that puts you at high risk of contracting COVID-19, creates a high risk of developing more severe complications from COVID-19, or otherwise makes you unable to work as assigned due to COVID-19, you should complete the three forms below and email them to eoc-covid19@unc.edu. If possible, please submit your accommodation request at least two weeks prior to the date you are expected to return to working on-site.  If you are requesting workplace flexibility for reasons other than your own health (i.e., age, child or elder care responsibilities, living with or caring for someone who is high risk, or other concerns), see the FAQs at the bottom of this page for instructions.

  1. Accommodation Request Form COVID-19
  2. Voluntary Self-Identification of a Disability Form (Required only if your health condition is a disability.  Not required for pregnancy, weight, or other conditions that are not disabilities.)
  3. Health Care Provider Release Form

Such health conditions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Immunocompromised state due to:
    • Solid organ transplant
    • Blood or bone marrow transplant
    • Immune deficiencies
    • HIV
    • Use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines
  • Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Diabetes
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Neurological conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Thalassemia
  • Preexisting mental health conditions, including anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder, that are exacerbated by disruptions due to COVID-19
  • Pregnancy
  • Other conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control

You will be asked to provide information about your health condition and to certify that you will provide supporting medical documentation if requested. 

Once the EOC receives your request, a staff member will contact your supervisor to make them aware of your request and discuss whether your requested accommodation is feasible. Supervisors will not be provided any health information and will be reminded to keep your request confidential and that retaliation is prohibited.

The EOC will notify you and your supervisor, in writing, of any reasonable accommodation(s) to be provided. The EOC will strive to provide this notice prior to the date you are expected to return to work on-site, provided your request was submitted in advance of that date. However, if the EOC will be unable to meet that goal, you will be notified and temporary accommodations will be discussed.

All requests will be evaluated in accordance with the University’s Policy on ADA Reasonable Accommodations for Employees, Applicants, and Visitors and the accompanying Procedure. More detailed information about the ADA process is available on the EOC’s Reasonable Accommodation page.

For additional information regarding available leave, working from home, and wellness for all UNC employees, please visit the Human Resource page: FAQs for Faculty and Staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Only if you want to request an accommodation. Requesting an accommodation is always voluntary and up to the employee. You may find that campus-wide flexibility and safety measures set out in the Carolina Together Webpage are sufficient to meet your needs and determine that you do not need to request additional accommodations. 

Depending on the essential functions of your positions, accommodations related to COVID-19 may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Telework (full or partial) 
  • Leave 
  • Additional or enhanced protective measures, such as barriers to provide separation between the employee and coworkers or the public or increasing the space between the employee and others 
  • Additional or enhanced protective gear, such as gowns, masks, or gloves 
  • Elimination or substitution of marginal job duties  
  • Modification of work schedule or shift assignment to decrease contact with coworkers and/or the public 
  • Moving the location of where one performs work on campus 
  • Temporary reassignment 

As with any accommodation request, the EOC will evaluate whether teleworking is a reasonable accommodation in light of the essential functions of your position. In making that determination, the EOC will consider factors including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Whether all or some of the essential duties of your position can be accomplished via telework 
  • Whether marginal job duties can be restructured or reassigned temporarily 
  • Whether alternatives to teleworking would meet your health needs 
  • Whether the unit or department will be able to meet its business needs, considering the totality of the circumstances 

No. The EOC will evaluate each request individually based upon the essential functions of the position and will determine an appropriate duration of the accommodation. Telework accommodations for spring 2021 will generally be approved only through March 31, 2021, though may be for a shorter duration.  Accommodations will necessitate periodic review to determine whether they are still reasonable in light of the current medical guidance about COVID-19 and the University’s current operational status. The EOC will notify you of the duration of your approved accommodation and the process for seeking an extension or modification of that accommodation.

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct prohibits retaliation against employees for requesting an accommodation. All supervisors or other individuals involved in the accommodation process are reminded of the prohibition on retaliation. If you believe you have experienced retaliation due to requesting an accommodation, you can make a report to the EOC by contacting reportandresponse@unc.edu 

Members of the campus community may have a number of reasons for seeking flexibility with respect to work location and scheduling during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include age, child or elder care responsibilities, living with or caring for someone who is high risk, or other concerns. You should work with your managers, supervisors, dean, or department chairs to discuss possible flexible options. The Academic Personnel Office, the Office of Human Resources, and EOC are available to assist you and your manager, supervisor, dean, or department chair if you have questions or concerns.

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, and disability. If you believe that your supervisor, manager, dean, or department chair denied your request for workplace flexibility on these or any other protected status, you can make a report to the EOC by contacting reportandresponse@unc.edu.  

Contact Elizabeth Hall, ADA Coordinator at elizabeth.hall@unc.edu with any questions.