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November 22, 2023

Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Grievance Procedures

As provided in Caltech's Nondiscrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability and Reasonable Accommodation policies and in compliance with federal and state law, Caltech does not discriminate on the basis of disability in administration of its education-related programs, services and activities, and is committed to ensuring that there is no unlawful discrimination or harassment in any of its academic or employment programs, services, activities, or in any terms and conditions of employment.

To ensure equal employment opportunities and equal access to Caltech educational programs, services, activities and facilities Caltech provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with known disabilities including students, faculty, postdoctoral scholars, staff, volunteers, interns and applicants unless doing so would constitute an undue hardship or a fundamental alteration. Caltech also provides reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related conditions consistent with federal and state law.

The Institute's policies are found

Grievance Procedure

The Institute has mechanisms to resolve concerns about disability discrimination, equal access, and denial of reasonable accommodations required by law including denial of requested auxiliary aids and services. ("disability-related issues").

This grievance procedure will apply to grievances related to the denial of a requested service, accommodation, or modification of an Institute practice or other requirement that the grievant believes is necessary to ensure equal employment opportunities and equal access to Caltech educational programs, services, activities and facilities ("requested accommodation").

The Institute's Unlawful Harassment policy and procedures apply to all other concerns related to harassment and discrimination based on disability. Questions of applicability will be decided by the appropriate Caltech ADA Coordinator.

Formal Grievance for Denial of a Reasonable Accommodation or Inaccessibility of a Program or Requested Service

Request for accommodations should be submitted to the appropriate ADA Coordinator identified in Caltech's Disability and Reasonable Accommodation policy. In evaluating requests for accommodations, Caltech will engage in a timely and good faith interactive process with the requesting individual to determine what, if any, accommodations should be provided. The ADA Coordinator will make a determination concerning what, if any, reasonable accommodation is available. The ADA Coordinator will notify the individual in writing of their decision. An individual requesting an accommodation who disagrees with the decision of the ADA Coordinator may file a grievance under these procedures.

A student, faculty or staff member, postdoctoral scholar, volunteer, intern and job applicant who wishes to appeal a decision concerning the denial of a requested accommodation may file a grievance within 10 days of receiving notification of the denial from the ADA Coordinator. Grievances by undergraduate and graduate students will be decided by the Dean of Undergraduate Students, or designee, or the Dean of Graduate Studies, or designee, respectively. Grievances by faculty members will be decided by the Provost or designee. Grievances by staff members, postdoctoral scholars, volunteers, and interns should be submitted to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. Grievance by JPL employees will be decided by the Deputy Director for Human Resources at JPL.

The grievance must be submitted to the decision-maker in writing and include the following:

  • The grievant' s name, address, email address and phone number
  • A full description of the situation
  • A description of the efforts which have been made to resolve the issue informally
  • A statement of the requested remedy, e.g. requested accommodation

If the grievance involves confidential medical information, the decision-maker will maintain the confidentiality of that information and will not release that information without the individual's permission, except as allowed by law.

The decision-maker will review the grievance for timeliness and appropriateness under this grievance procedure and notify the grievant whether the grievance has been accepted.

The decision-maker will consider relevant information provided by the grievant and the ADA Coordinator. The decision-maker will provide the grievant with a copy of their decision in writing which will be final and not subject to further appeal.

If the grievant believes that new or changed circumstances support reconsideration of a denied accommodation, the grievant may resubmit their request to the ADA Coordinator.

Harassment and Discrimination Complaints

The formal complaint, investigation and appeal procedures outlined in the Procedures for Filing and Resolving Claims of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination apply to all other complaints of unlawful harassment or discrimination based on disability not covered by these procedures.

Complaints of disability discrimination, including the denial of a requested accommodation may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, at any time before, during or after the Institute's ADA grievance process.