We have heard many instances of professional staff with legitimate reasons having been denied an ADA accommodation or general request for fully remote work. Here are some important developments regarding options for remote work accommodation:
Contacting the NYC Commission on Human Rights
PSC members denied a remote work accommodation can contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights (NYCHR). If you or other co-workers are still seeking accommodation, see if you are covered by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, which allows for remote work for a wide range of reasons, including compromised immunity, pregnancy, cancer, stroke, and being overweight/obese. If the college has denied remote work requests that list any of these reasons or others listed on the site, this is a potential violation and an employee can file a complaint with the City. Response time may take several weeks, but they have moved quickly once they get to a case.
To file a complaint, call the NYCHR at 311 or (212) 416-0197.
We have confirmation that ADA accommodations include employees who are at high risk for developing complications from COVID, as listed in CDC guidelines. Many colleges have wrongly been denying these requests. See these links about who is covered, how an employee can respond to human resources, and a video explanation.
The NYCHR list of allowable disabilities contains many that are included under ADA. Therefore, it is possible to challenge an ADA denial with human resources and pursue your case with the NYCHR at the same time. If the college still won’t approve your request, you could dispute an ADA accommodation denial by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Comission (EEOC) or the NY State Division of Human Rights. Note that these agencies can take much longer to process a complaint than the NYCHR.