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Life Threatening Diseases

Policy Number: HR-10
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: May 2013
Responsible Officer: Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff

PURPOSE

This policy was established to provide guidelines to ensure a safe work environment for Faculty and Professional Staff Members and Students who contract a life-threatening disease and want to continue working.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all Drexel University College of Medicine Faculty and Professional Staff Members and Students.

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff is the Drexel University College of Medicine official responsible for the administration of this policy.

POLICY

While some Faculty or Professional Staff Members suffering from life-threatening diseases may wish to continue working, Drexel University College of Medicine also recognizes that it must satisfy its legal obligation to provide a safe environment for all Faculty and Professional Staff Members, students, and other visitors. As long as Faculty and Professional Staff Members and Students who have life-threatening diseases are able to maintain acceptable performance standards in accordance with established Drexel University College of Medicine policies and procedures, and the weight of medical evidence continues to indicate that the applicable disease cannot be transmitted by casual workplace contact, they will be permitted to work. Such individuals have the same rights as other qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in Drexel University College of Medicine programs, or access to classrooms or other facilities if he or she is capable of using such facilities, programs or services, with or without reasonable accommodation. In determining such a Faculty or Professional Staff Member's ability to continue employment, Drexel University College of Medicine will make reasonable accommodation to the Faculty or Professional Staff Member's and Student’s disability, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

DEFINITIONS

Faculty Member is defined as an individual employed by Drexel University College of Medicine in a tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track or adjunct position who teaches at any college, school, center or institute in Drexel University College of Medicine.  A Faculty Member also is deemed to be exempt under the provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University College of Medicine, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Student is defined as any person currently enrolled, whether part-time or full-time, in undergraduate or graduate courses or programs.  Undergraduate Student denotes any Student who is primarily enrolled in undergraduate courses or program and has not obtained a bachelor’s degree in such course of study or program.  Graduate student denotes any Student who is primarily enrolled in graduate courses or program who is working toward a graduate degree or certification after having earned a bachelor’s degree.

PROCEDURES

  1. Reasonable Accommodation
    In accordance with applicable law, Drexel University College of Medicine will provide reasonable accommodation to persons with a life-threatening disease in appropriate situations. Generally, an individual with a life-threatening disease may request accommodation, in the form of a change in schedule, modification of nonessential job or other assignment, facility accessibility modifications, etc., as long as such accommodation is reasonable, does not require undue financial or programmatic hardship, and does not require a fundamental alteration in the job or the nature of the program offering. An individual with a life-threatening disease requesting an accommodation is obligated to inform Drexel University College of Medicine of her/his condition and the nature of the accommodation that may be necessary, and to provide suitable documentation if requested.
  2. Individual Responsibility
    Individuals with a life-threatening disease and individuals who believe that they may have been infected with a life-threatening disease must conduct themselves in a responsible manner for their own protection and the protection of other members of Drexel University College of Medicine community. Such individuals are encouraged to seek proper medical care, counseling, education and other support services. Individuals who believe that they may be infected should consult a physician and are encouraged to undergo testing, if appropriate. While Drexel University College of Medicine recognizes each individual's responsibility in this regard, Drexel University College of Medicine reserves the right to take steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Drexel University College of Medicine community and the individual with the life-threatening disease within the limitations of the law.
  3. Confidentiality
    To the extent possible, Drexel University College of Medicine will maintain the confidentiality and privacy of any Student or Faculty or Professional Staff Member who has a life-threatening disease. Accordingly, such information should be handled with the same degree of care and sensitivity as is accorded to other types of highly confidential medical information. As with other medical conditions, no information concerning an individual's health status should be provided to Faculty and Professional Staff Members or students (or the individual's family) without the individual's express written consent. Exceptions to this general rule may be made however, to the extent required to protect the public health or as otherwise required or permitted by law.
  4. Testing
    No individual will be required to undergo testing or screening for a life-threatening disease as a condition of enrollment, employment, or the receipt of financial or other services except where special job or academic-related circumstances exist. Consistent with the provisions in this policy regarding confidentiality, where an individual must submit the results of a life-threatening disease test or screen to Drexel University College of Medicine, such results will be held in the strictest confidence unless written approval to release such information is obtained from the individual or as otherwise permitted by law.
  5. Safety Precautions And Procedures < br /> Faculty and Professional Staff Members or students who may reasonably anticipate exposure to potentially infectious material due to the nature of their job or academic program (e.g., laboratory classes, sponsored research or fieldwork) must follow federal, state, and local health and safety regulations. These regulations include the formal guidelines issued by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) pathogens standard. It is the responsibility of each department head, program administrator or academic faculty member/instructor to adopt and follow these regulations. Additional Information: Inquiries related to accommodation or discrimination can be directed to the Office of Administrative Services. Inquiries related to safety and health can be directed to the Safety and Health Office.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University College of Medicine at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.