Office of Equal Opportunity

Accommodation Grievance Process

Brandeis University is committed to providing individuals with accommodations that may be required due to a disability, pregnancy or religious practices.  The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) (; 781-736-4806) is available to address concerns regarding the University’s policies and compliance with the applicable laws, statutes, and regulations regarding disabilities, pregnancy and religious accommodations.   Inquiries about these laws and about compliance may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109, 617-289-0111.

Disability Accommodation Requests

All applications for student disability accommodations should be submitted to Student Accessibility Support (SAS) (; 781-736-3470) for review.  All applications for employee (faculty or staff) disability accommodations should be submitted to Human Resources (HR) (; 781-736.4466).  Disability accommodations cannot be granted to a student or employee unless they have registered with either SAS or HR. The decision to grant or deny a requested accommodation is made by SAS or HR by engaging in the interactive process with the individual. This grievance process provides the procedures by which an individual can appeal the denial of a requested disability accommodation or bring a complaint regarding how an approved disability accommodation has (or has not) been implemented. For concerns about discrimination based on disability, please see the University’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence (pdf).

If an individual has a concern about a disability accommodation that was denied or only partially granted by SAS, that individual should first discuss their concerns with SAS or HR.  If an individual has a concern about how a disability accommodation (approved by SAS or HR) is being implemented in the classroom or work environment, that individual should first discuss their concerns with the staff or faculty member responsible for putting the disability accommodation into place. The individual may also reach out to SAS (; 781-736-3470) or HR (; 781-736.4466) for assistance in having the approved disability accommodation put into effect. If these conversations do not resolve the matter, the individual may then contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (; 781-736-4806), to discuss these concerns and whether to initiate a grievance regarding this situation.

Pregnancy Accommodation Requests

Students requiring accommodations relating to medical needs or complications associated with the pregnancy can request those accommodations through Student Accessibility Support (SAS) (; 781-736-3470).  Students are entitled to excused absences relating to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, and/or recovery, for the amount of time deemed medically necessary by their provider.  Undergraduate students should work with their academic advisors (; 781-736-3470 and graduate students should work with the Office of Graduate Student Affairs (; 781-736-3546), who will help to coordinate the student’s absences with the appropriate departments on campus.  Students will need to provide medical documentation from their medical care providers outlining the amount of time needed for recovery.  Students can refer to the Pregnant Student Accommodation Policy for more information.

Employees requiring accommodations relating to pregnancy or parental leave should work with Human Resources (HR) (; 781-736.4466).  Employees can refer to the Human Resource website for more information.

Grievance Process

When a grievance is initiated, the individual who brought the concern forward will become the complainant in that process. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (or their designee) will assign one investigator to the grievance, who will be responsible for gathering information regarding the concerns raised. The investigator will begin an investigation into the grievance which may include (but is not limited to) a review of the information submitted by the complainant to SAS, HR, their academic advisors or graduate student affairs, interviews with any relevant witnesses, a review of any accommodation(s) offered, a chronology of events, information regarding any undue burden or hardship on the operations of the University’s programs or activities and information regarding the fundamental nature of the program in which the accommodations are sought. The complainant has the right to identify any witnesses and/or information which they believe may be relevant to the resolution of this grievance. The investigator will determine the scope of the investigation, at their discretion. The goal will be to complete any grievance process within 30 business days from the initiation of the grievance. Depending on the complexity of the investigation, more or less time may be required to complete the process.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will issue a decision regarding the grievance. This decision will be communicated to the complainant in writing. The matter may then be referred back to SAS, HR, their academic advisor/graduate student affairs, or whatever office is deemed appropriate by OEO for a review of the findings and to implement any recommendations. The grievance process is final once the investigator issues a written decision on the grievance. There is no appeal from a grievance decision.