Local 33 Student Employee Accommodations

As a result of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the Local 33 labor union and Yale University, graduate students who are required to hold a research lab or teaching role are considered active members of the Local 33 labor union. This requires that Graduate Student Employees must request disability-related accommodations through a separate interactive process from any academic accommodations. Workplace accommodations will be kept in a separate record from any academic accommodations that are requested, as per the collective bargaining agreement requirements.  

To begin the interactive process for workplace accommodations, please submit a Local 33 Student Employee Accommodations Request form. Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and may differ depending on job duties, employment setting, and personal experiences of your disability. 

What to Expect with the Interactive Process

The interactive process is an important step in determining the appropriateness of an accommodation for the workplace. The interactive process for workplace accommodations involves: 

  1. Student Employee submitting a request through the Local 33 Student Employee Accommodations Request Form 
  2. Student Employee requesting your health care provider complete the SAS Health Care Provider/Specialist Form. 
  3. SAS will reach out to the Student Employee when both forms are completed to schedule a meeting related to the request. 
  4. SAS will meet with appropriate teaching or lab supervisors including PI, Professor, and/or healthcare providers to discuss job requirements and limitations. 
  5. SAS will review the request with all the information and make a determination. 
  6. SAS will notify the Student Employee and their supervisor of the determination and any equally effective alternatives if appropriate. 

What is a Reasonable Accommodation? 

While SAS will review all workplace accommodation requests, this does not guarantee that the request will be approved as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is an accommodation that does not alter the essential job functions or duties of the position. This is determined through an evaluation of job requirements, service or purpose of the job, terms of the collective bargaining agreement, and/or feasibility of implementation of the requested accommodation. Some examples of a reasonable accommodation may include, but not limited to: 

  • Assistive technology for information, meeting notes, or independent functioning 
  • Access to accessible parking or accessible transit service 
  • Ergonomic equipment or furniture 
  • Specific accessible workspace modifications 

What is the Appeal Process for Denied Accommodation Requests?

Depending on the individual request and factors of review, accommodation requests may be denied. Equally effective alternatives which remove the barrier in a similar or more effective manner may be provided in the event that a request is denied. Student Employees have the right to request an additional review if new information is available and provided to SAS. Student Employees who are denied an accommodation request but do not have new information, may request a separate review by the 504/ADA Coordinator through the Accommodation Denial Appeal Form [insert link].  


While the process may be similar, it is important for Student-Employees to know that their rights and responsibilities are governed by employment focused Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that there may be different questions asked and parties consulted than the traditional academic accommodations request. Student Employees have the right to: 

  1. Request workplace accommodations due to a disability. 
  2. Receive reasonable accommodations or an equally effective alternative that does not alter the essential functions of the job or cause an undue hardship. 
  3. A third-party or labor representative present during accommodations meeting 
  4. Receive written communication explaining the decision of the request. 
  5. Request an appeal of any denied accommodations with additional information. 
  6. Submit a grievance with the Local 33 Labor Union or Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility. 


Student Employees requesting workplace accommodations are responsible for participating in the interactive process. This includes taking the following actions related to their request: 

  1. Personally submitting a workplace accommodations request 
  2. Providing documentation of the disability from a qualified healthcare provider or specialist. 
  3. Responding to communications from SAS related to the request for accommodations. 
  4. Attending a meeting, whether virtual or in-person, with SAS to discuss the request. 
  5. Discuss approved accommodations with your supervisor for implementation.