Policy on Reasonable Accommodation

Policy Number: 419

Human Resources

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy419/

I. Purpose and Scope


The university recognizes that individuals with a disability may need a reasonable accommodation to have equally effective opportunities to participate in employment. The purpose of this policy is to meet requirements of federal and state anti-discrimination laws and to provide employees with reasonable accommodations as required by law. 

This policy applies to qualified disabled applicants and employees.

II. Definitions


For the purposes of this policy, Federal and State anti- discrimination law definitions of disability, reasonable accommodations, undue hardship and other definitions and legal standards pertinent to the provision of reasonable accommodations apply.[1]

III. Policy


The university is committed to providing equal access to employment opportunities for qualified persons with disabilities.  

Upon request for an accommodation, the university will provide a reasonable accommodation to any otherwise qualified disabled  applicant or employee so long as such accommodation does not create an undue burden on the university, as defined by law. 


The university provides reasonable accommodations:

  • when an applicant with a disability needs accommodation in order to be considered for a job;
  • when an otherwise qualified employee with a disability needs accommodation to enable him or her to perform the essential functions of the job or to gain access to the workplace, and
  • when an employee with a disability needs accommodation to access the benefits and privileges of employment. 

The university will process requests for reasonable accommodation and provide reasonable accommodations in a prompt, fair and efficient manner. 

IV. Additional Information

An applicant for employment may request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing from the university employee with whom the applicant has contact in connection with the application process or through Human Resources (“HR”). 

An employee (faculty or staff) may request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing from his/her supervisor, HR, or the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (“OIDI”). 

Oral requests for accommodations should be reduced to writing. 

Under certain circumstances, as allowed or required by applicable law, an employee may be required to provide medical documentation to support a request for a reasonable accommodation. An employee also may be required to undergo an independent medical examination. 

If an individual feels that he or she has been unfairly denied a reasonable accommodation, the individual may file a complaint with the Office for University Equity and Compliance (OUEC). In addition, a complaint may be filed with either or any of the jurisdictionally appropriate the agencies listed below. Filing a complaint with OUEC does not prohibit an individual from filing a complaint with the appropriate government ministry or agency. 

V. Contact Information


Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (617) 373-2133

Human Resources (617) 373-2230

Office for University Equity and Compliance (617) 373-4644


[1] Consistent with the terminology utilized in the Federal and State anti-discrimination laws, the University uses the words “handicap” and “disability” in this policy. However, the University recognizes that not all persons with medical conditions who are covered under these laws consider themselves to be handicapped or disabled.

Related Procedures





Disability; Accommodation

Version History

Last Revision Date: September 14, 2022

Issued: July 1, 2015