American Disability Act (ADA) Interactive Process - Resources for Teammates

The below guide applies to all full-time Teammates globally. Please reach out to the People-Ops Team (people-ops@sourcegraph.com) if you require further guidance.

On this page:

Reason for the policy

At Sourcegraph, we believe that our teammates’ well-being is a top priority. That’s why we offer reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in addition to our Medical Leave of Absence Policy, or statutory local laws. Our goal is to create a teammate-friendly culture that fosters professional growth and development while prioritizing the health of our teammates.

This policy generally applies to teammates across the globe. However, laws on accommodation internationally differ from those in the US. While Sourcegraph will generally follow the guidelines in this policy for its international teammates, note that specific requirements, entitlements, and processes will instead follow local law.

The ADA can feel intimidating and your illness/health condition may not feel like a disability. However, the ADA’s definition of disability is very broad and covers many physical and mental health conditions that may impact your ability to complete your job to the best of your ability.

The ADA has a broad definition for the term disability. A person with a disability is someone who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • has a history or record of such an impairment (such as a concern that is in remission), or
  • is perceived by others as having such an impairment (such as a person who has scars from a severe burn).

The ADA covers pregnancy, but we also follow the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which provides reasonable accommodations for limitations related to pregnancy and childbirth, and other applicable local laws, whichever is most protective of the teammate.

For those with a disability, we offer reasonable accommodation which is defined as a modification or adjustment of a job process or work environment that will better enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job.

We understand that medical situations can be stressful and challenging to navigate. That’s why we provide resources for teammates who are dealing with medical conditions.

If you’re expecting to be away from work for more than one week, please review our consecutive leave options:

ADA TL;DR

  • An ADA accommodation will vary based on the individual’s health care needs. Medical professionals are usually familiar with ADA accommodation request. Examples of requests include but are not limited to:
    • Time off for health related appointments (physical & mental health)
    • Intermittent leave for treatments and/or side effects
    • Additional break time
    • Limited working schedule
    • Specific software or hardware for certain disabilities
  • Eligibility (personal): any US teammate needing a reasonable accommodation to complete their work while experiencing a health condition creating a disability. To be eligible, a medical professional must complete the ADA Accommodation Request Form. The medical professional or teammate must submit the completed paperwork to the People Team via email People-Ops@sourcegraph.com.
    • Candidates are also eligible for reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please connect with your Recruiter to submit a request.

  • Eligibility (family member): Unfortunately, the ADA does not provide accommodations or leaves to care for family members.
  • Local laws: This policy-including eligibility criteria, reasonable accommodation request, and duration –is subject to applicable local laws, which may provide different benefits. In those cases, the teammate will receive the greater entitlement. Where local laws entitle a teammate to a portion of leave paid for by the local government, Sourcegraph will work with the teammate to adjust Sourcegraph’s coverage, so that the total amount received by the teammate is consistent with but not duplicative of the entitlements under Sourcegraph’s policy and applicable local laws.
    • Although the ADA is specific to the US, many countries have disability leaves or accommodations available. Please reach out to People-Ops@sourcegraph.com for more information.
  • How to request an ADA Accommodation: The process to request an accommodation is interactive, and each individual case is unique. The first two steps are 1) To alert your People Partner you’re going to request an accommodation and 2) formally begin the process by submitting our google intake form. You can find the full process below.

Who is eligible for ADA Accomodations?

Eligibility starts on day 1 of employment. Teammates are eligible if they meet all the requirements below:

  • Have either:
    • A physical or mental health condition and needs a reasonable accommodation to complete the essential functions of their work
  • Have taken the steps to begin the interactive process with Sourcegraph’s People Team and have their medical professional complete the required paperwork.

Your pay during your ADA

ADA accommodations are unique to the individual and the situation. Accommodations can range from additional break time, time off for medical appointments, intermittent leave, and much more. Due to each situation being unique we will evaluate whether time away from work will be paid or unpaid on a case-by-case basis while following all applicable laws.

Commission payments and/or quota relief will be handled case-by-case and dependant on time away from work, in accordance with the applicable compensation plan or agreement .

How to request an ADA Accommodation

  1. Notify Manager & People Team
  2. Formally request accommodation process to start
  3. Complete required paperwork
  4. Decision & notification
  5. Plan creation
  6. Utilize accommodation
  7. End of accommodation

Step 1: Notify the People Team

  • Teammates exploring an ADA accommodation should begin discussions with their Manager and/or their People Partner via slack or email as soon as possible. We understand medical conditions arise or flare up, but the more notice for us to be able to support you, the better.
  • You do not need to disclose your precise medical issue. You need only disclose that you have one (that’s confirmed by a healthcare professional), and then engage with us to determine an accommodation that meets your medical needs and our business needs.

Step 2: Formally kick-off leave process

To formally request an ADA accommodation, please fill out this Google ADA Intake Form.

Once you’ve completed the Google Form, someone on the People Team will follow up with next step within 2 business days:

  • All Teammates (other than PEO Teammates): the People Team will be your main point of contact during your accommodation process, the length of your accommodation and will help you manage all your ADA related inquiries.
  • PEO Teammates: the People Team will work with your PEO to gather information on the ADA process and requirements for your specific country and will work with you to prepare for your accommodation request.

Step 3: Have your medical provider complete paperwork

  • The People Team will provide you the proper paperwork you will need your medical provider to complete. The paperwork allows Sourcegraph to review your accommodation request and determine if the business can support your request.

Step 4: Review, decision, & notification

  • The People Team will review your completed paperwork and confirm we can approve the accommodation request. If we are unable to approve your request, we will provide alternative accommodation possibilities. This is called the interactive process.
  • You will receive an approval email from the People Ops Team outlining the details of your approved accommodation.

Step 5: Create a plan with your manager & People Partner

  • Based on your accommodation, you and your manager (if needed) will work together with your People Partner to set clear expectations of the use of your accommodation and performance.
  • This plan will include how to communicate when you need to use your accommodation, block your calendar (if applicable), and what you would like/not like to share with the team.

Step 6: Begin using your accommodation

  • While you have an accommodation in place, your focus should be on taking care of yourself and meeting the performance expectations outlined. Please feel free to reach out to your People Partner or people ops if you begin to feel you cannot balance both. We will begin the interactive process to re-evaluate your accommodation in hopes to meet your needs.
  • Your accommodation can be in place up to 90 days (3 months). If a longer accommodation is requested, we will evaluate the accommodation every 90 days (3 months).

Step 7: End of accommodation

  • You will receive a notice 2 weeks prior to your accommodation expiring. If you need to extend your accommodation, we will begin the process again.
  • If you no longer need the accommodation, you will return to work as usual. Your manager and People Partner will meet with you to reset performance expectations.
  • If at any point in the future you need the same or new accommodation, please reach out to the People Team.

Additional resources

FAQ

FAQ for US-based Teammates

Q: What is an ADA reasonable accommodation?

A: A reasonable accommodation, under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), is a modification or adjustment of a job process or work environment that will better enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job.

Q: What is not an ADA reasonable accommodation?

A: A teammate request that is unrelated to documented medical issues, such as a request for time off to attend a class, or to pick up your children from school, or to have weekends or particular days off of work. Or a request to remove one or more essential functions from your role.

Q: What if I have a problem getting a doctor’s note because my doctor’s office is busy?

A: Discuss your concerns with your People Partner. In some circumstances a temporary accommodation can be provided for a short period of time while the medical information is pending.

Q: Does Sourcegraph offer accommodations for candidates interviewing?

A: Yes, as a remote company we have remote interviews and will offer reasonable accommodations to candidates. This can be visual and audio support or other reasonable requests. Please ask your Recruiter for an accommodation and they will loop in The People Team.

Q: How do I know if my health concern qualifies for an ADA accommodation?

A: Your health concern qualified for an ADA accommodation if it meets the following criteria:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
    • Substantially limits is interpreted broadly
    • Major life activities are the kind of activities that you do every day, including your body’s own internal process. There are many major life activities in addition to the examples included here:
      • Actions like eating, sleeping, speaking or breathing
      • Movements like walking, standing, lifting, and bending
      • Cognitive functions like thinking and concentrating
      • Sensory functions like seeing and hearing
      • Tasks like working, reading, learning, and communicating
      • The operation of major bodily functions like circulation, reproduction, and individual organs
  • has a history or record of such an impairment (such as a concern that is in remission), or
  • is perceived by others as having such an impairment (such as a person who has scars from a severe burn).

Q: What is an example of a disability?

A: The following are examples and not an all inclusive list:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • HIV
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Blindness or low vision
  • Epilepsy
  • Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walked or cane
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • The ADA covers many disabilities not listed here

Q: What accommodation should I request?

A: Accommodations vary case-by-case. The purpose of the accommodation is for a teammate to balance their health condition care while maintaining their essential job functions. Your medical professional can help you assess the best accommodation request for your situation along with the People Team. An accommodation could be but its not limited to:

  • Time off for health related appointments (physical & mental health)
  • Intermittent leave for treatments and/or side effects from treatment
  • Additional break time
  • Limited working schedule
  • Specific software or hardware for certain disabilities
  • Transition in role (only if current role cannot be performed and another open role is applicable)

Q: Will I always get the exact accommodation I request?

A: Not necessarily. We will engage in the interactive process to find an accommodation that meets your medical needs and our business needs. That may involve some suggestions that are different than what you initially ask for.

Q: I’m pregnant, what resources or accommodations does Sourcegraph offer?

A: We offer accommodations under the ADA and PWFA acts and any applicable local laws. Each situation is different and a one-solution fits all approach does not work. We will engage in the interactive process to understand what reasonable accommodations are best for your situation.

Q: I’m expecting a new child, is that covered by our ADA policy?

A: Yes, during your time working while pregnant you can request an accommodation. At the same time, as you prepare for birth you will need to review our Sourcegraph’s Paid Parental Leave Policy, we recommend doing this at least 2 months prior to your expected birth date.

Q: We have an unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy. What is the difference and when should I take a LOA instead of Sick Time/PTO?

A: The main differentiators of using Sick Time/PTO vs. a LOA for a medical concern/condition are 1) the length of time away from work and 2) a doctor’s note requirement

  • PTO (sick time) should be used for medical concerns (for yourself or a dependent) requiring you to be away from work for 1 week or less in length (unless statutory guidance differs). A doctor’s note is not required.
  • LOA should be used for medical concerns that cause you to be out of office for more than 1 week consecutively. A doctor’s note is required.

Q: Why is paperwork from a medical professional required?

A: First, for clarity and consistency. We want to make sure that we understand your medical needs. Second, because taking a LOA often triggers other benefits and rights under federal or local laws, and we cannot evaluate those issues without medical information.

Q: Can I work part-time during my ADA accommodation?

A: A part-time or reduced schedule is a possible accommodation. Each request is evaluated and reviewed to ensure it’s reasonable for the business at the time of request. Approval is not guaranteed.

Q: Can I extend my accommodation past 90-days (3 months)?

A: Yes, if you reach the end of a 90-day accommodation and are still in need of an accommodation, we can restart the interactive process.

Q: What if I need to go out on leave?

A: If your leave will be intermittent, we will need an updated ADA request form from your medical professional. If you need consecutive leave, please refer to our Medical Leave of Absence policy.

Q: Can I use PTO to cover my intermittent leave?

A: In most cases, no. However each case will be evaluated case-by-case while considering our Paid Time Off policy and Medical Leave of Absence guidelines.

Q: I just joined recently. Am I eligible for ADA accommodations or intermittent leave even though I haven’t been here for a year?

A: Yes! We do not have a waiting period for an ADA accommodation.

Q: I’ve been working with a therapist, can they write me the required doctor’s note?
A: To be eligible for leave under this policy, you need to submit a note from a licensed healthcare provider. If you have a note from a licensed therapist, we will consider it in determining an appropriate accommodation.
Q: Can my mental health condition/concerns be a disability that qualifies for accommodation?

A: Yes, ADA covers both mental and physical health conditions.

Q: What happens to my promotion eligibility and Impact Review score?

A: Time taken for ADA accommodations will not be factored into (e.g. not counted toward, nor negatively impact) internal mobility and/or promotion eligibility. Please work with your Manager and People Partner to align on expectations and timeline based on your role and segment. If over the 6-month review period, there are fewer than 4-months of on-the-job performance to assess, the Teammate will retain the rating from the immediately previous cycle. Please reach out to your People Partner for questions related to Teammates with ADA accommodations.

Q: What happens to my Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) while I have an ADA accommodation? **A:** **The progression of your PIP will be based on the accommodation requested and the expectations in place during your accommodation period.

Q: Does the same ADA policy apply to me if I’m a caregiver for a family member experiencing a medical condition?

A: No, unfortunately the ADA does not apply to the care of a family member.

**Q: What if my accommodation changes? **

A: Please notify the People Team at people-ops@sourcegraph.com that you will need to engage in the interactive process again, and work with your medical professional to get a new accommodation request.

Q: Can I change my health plans during medical leave? (this only applies to US teammates)

A: This is unlikely as you must experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) to be eligible to change your health care plans. Please find a list of QLEs in Rippling for more information.

Q: If I have questions about benefits such as time off under the FMLA or CFRA, who should I reach out to? (this only applies to US teammates)

A: Please reach out to the People Team (people-ops@sourcegraph.com).

Q: What if my country of residence has statutory medical or sick or caregiver leave that differs from Sourcegraph’s ADA policy? Which do I follow? (International teammates only)

A: International teammates are entitled to take any statutorily-provided sick leave for which they are eligible. We recognize that as a global company we need to account for variances in country-specific statutory sick leave. Our goal is to ensure, irrespective of the country-specific statutory policy, that all Sourcegraph teammates have access to reasonable accommodations, and leave of absence options.

Q: Where can I find additional information on accommodation benefits for my specific country? (International teammates only)

A: If you are employed through Deel:

If you are engaged as an International Contractor:

  • Each country has varying requirements that dictate eligibility for statutory medical/sick benefits. This is dependent on the working relationship type including, independent contractors and those who are self-employed. Given the varying country specific regulations, please contact people-ops@sourcegraph.com to receive guidance regarding statutory requirements you are eligible for

Resources for managers

Accommodations are unique & take partnership

Please partner with your People Partner and People Operations (people-ops@sourcegraph.com) through the interactive ADA process and the period of time you have a teammate(s) with an accommodation.

Step 1: Conversation with Teammate

  • This can be a scary and vulnerable conversation for teammates to bring up. Please reassure them Sourcegraph is here to support them.
  • Understand teammates only need to disclose what they feel comfortable sharing. Do not ask about a diagnosis and symptoms they are experiencing. Anything the teammate chooses to share with you or the People Team is confidential. It should not be shared with anyone other than the People Team.
  • You can ask if/how you can support them.
  • Make sure they’re aware of all the ways in which we provide support by connecting them with their People Partner and/or the People-Ops Team (people-ops@sourcegraph.com).

Step 2: Notify your People Partner and People-Ops (people-ops@sourcegraph.com) if a teammate has brought up an illness or impairment impacting their work:

  • To make sure your teammate gets all the support they need, please ensure you connect the teammate with their People Partner & People-Ops via email (people-ops@sourcegraph.com)
  • People-Ops will keep you updated through the intake process, and every step along the way up to the teammate returning to work. The ADA process is very interactive. You will be brought in by People-Ops or your People Partner to discuss:
    • If the request is reasonable to the business at the time of request
    • Attendance expectations
    • Performance expectations
    • How to partner with your People Partner in the case of low performance during an accommodation

Step 3: Communicate expectations to teammate:

  • Ask for your People Partner to be present to answer questions or discuss concerns that may come up during the conversation

During accommodation

  • Create a 1:1 topic to ask if the accommodation is working on their side. If not, loop in the People Team
  • Discuss performance concerns with your People Partner prior to discussing them with the teammate while they have an accommodation.
    • It’s still ok to give constructive feedback around the work produced. We want to keep our culture of continuous feedback alive.
  • Again, this can be a challenging time for teammates. Show your support the best way you can.

Resources for people team

People Team internal process