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Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am a Rockefeller University employee and I just had surgery on my knee. I will need assistance getting to my office for the next several weeks. What options are available? Who should I contact?

You should contact Human Resources at 212-327-8300 or Occupational Health Services (OHS) at 212-327-8414 as soon as you know of your need for reasonable accommodation. Each case is individualized and the reasonable accommodation plan will be based on the mobility impairment and travel needs (i.e. travel to work building, travel within work building, and travel around campus).

2. My medical leave of absence will soon end and I think that I will need some job modifications when I return to work. Who should I contact?

Before you can return to work, you will need to contact Human Resources or Occupational Health Services (OHS) to explore possible reasonable accommodations. Keep in mind that exploration and implementation of reasonable accommodation is done on an individualized basis and is an interactive process. The timeline will vary depending on the complexity of the case and available resources. Therefore, it is best to initiate your request as soon as you suspect you may need reasonable accommodation.

3. How much notification does Human Resources need to explore and implement reasonable accommodation?

Exploration and implementation of reasonable accommodation is done on an individualized basis and is an interactive process. The timeline will vary depending on the complexity of the case and available resources. Therefore, it is best to initiate your request as soon as you suspect you may need reasonable accommodation.

4. I am an employee with a mobility impairment. Do you provide transportation from my home to campus?

The University does not provide transportation from an employee’s home. All employees are responsible for transporting themselves to and from campus.

5. I am an Administrator and am unable to use my hands for typing. It has been determined that voice activated software is the best tool for me. Who pays for this software and any other equipment I may need?

The department in which you work is responsible for purchasing any tools or equipment that would help you to complete the essential duties of your position. Human Resources and/or OHS can help facilitate this process and the determination of the correct equipment.  Laboratory Safety and Environmental Health will also assist.

6. Is it possible to return to work part-time from my disability leave even though I am a full-time employee?

If your Doctor recommends returning to work on a part-time basis for a period of time, Human Resources and/or OHS will work with your Department to assess the feasibility of a part-time return. In many cases, we can make these short-term adjustments.

7. After returning from my leave or due to my medical condition, I have doctor’s appointments for follow-up care.  How should this be handled?

Please declare to Human Resources, OHS, and your supervisor your appointment dates and times. We ask that you try to make appointments in accordance with your schedule and needs of the laboratory or department. For example, it may be more convenient for you to have appointments at the start or the end of the work day. We recognize that physicians tend to work standard business hours that coincide with our working hours and will work with you to adjust your working hours accordingly.

8. My family member has a medical condition and needs my help.  How can I get time approved from work?

Please come to Human Resources to discuss the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows you to take time off to care for a spouse, parent, or child.

Self-Identification FAQ’s for the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form

1. Why is Rockefeller asking me to complete this form at this time?

Under regulations for Federal contractors, Rockefeller is required to collect information from employees through a formal, voluntary self-identification form.

2. Who is being surveyed on Disability?

All Federal Contractors are required to survey their employees using the Self-Identification of Disability form provided by the government. Participation is voluntary, although Rockefeller may be required to provide the DOL the communication sent to employees.

3. How will the information be used?

The information will only be used to comply with reporting requirements. The information will not be used against employees in any way. The summary data will be used to measure how Rockefeller is doing in comparison to the utilization number determined by the Department of Labor (DOL). In the event of an external audit by the DOL, only summary data will be reported.

4. What is the utilization goal?

The utilization goal is 7%. The DOL administers the number for contractors to measure how they are doing in hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities. The information will help Rockefeller measure how we are doing in comparison to the set utilization number.

5. Will this information be stored in my personnel file?

No. The data will be retained separate from your personnel or benefits file and will only be available for Affirmative Action Plan purposes.

6. Will I be asked to complete the self-identification form in the future?

Yes, because a person may become disabled at any time, Rockefeller is required to ask all employees to update their information at least every five years.

7. Do I have to complete the form?

No, it is voluntary, and you are not required to complete the form. The form has a response option of “I don’t wish to answer”.

8. What is a disability?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA), a disability is an impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity or a history of such impairment or condition. Major life activities include major bodily functions. See the following definitions from the DOL:

Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

Major Bodily Functions include, but are not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

(Disabilities may include, but are not limited to: Blindness (one or both eyes), Deafness (one or both ears), Cancer (have had or have), Diabetes, Epilepsy, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, HIV/AIDS, Schizophrenia, Muscular Dystrophy, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, missing limbs or partially missing limbs, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, and Intellectual Disability)

9. Do I have to provide medical information for this process?

No verification is required. You will not be contacted to discuss further.

10.  Can I change my Disability status in the future?

Yes, because disability status can change at any time, you can update your status using the same self-identification form. The form is available on the University portal.


The Rockefeller University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, or other legally protected class.