Apply for a remote work accommodation

Dear UFT Member,

The Department of Education’s systemwide reasonable accommodation process opens today. You may submit an online application if you are considered at higher risk of severe illness if you contract COVID-19.

The UFT got the Department of Education to streamline its reasonable accommodation process. We wanted to make sure that everyone who is eligible to work remotely would be approved before the start of the school year in case school buildings open in September. That would never have been possible under the old system.

You are eligible for an accommodation to work remotely if school buildings reopen if:
– you are at least age 65 as of Dec. 31, 2020; or
– you have an underlying medical condition as set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
If you are applying based on your age, you do not have to verify your age or provide any other medical documentation.
If you are applying based on your health, you must provide a signed document from a licensed medical practitioner clearly stating:
what your underlying medical condition(s) is, andhow it places you at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Please use the DOE’s Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS) to apply for an accommodation.
Please submit your application as soon as possible and preferably by July 31, 2020, to allow time for your accommodation to be approved by September. Read these step-by-step application instructions (you must be logged in to the DOE employee website to access them).

According to the legal definition under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a reasonable accommodation can only be granted to the person with the medical condition. We are still in discussions with the city and the DOE about other personal circumstances we know our members face.

The reasonable accommodation process is open to all DOE employees. The UFT strongly encourages all members who wish to have an accommodation to work remotely to apply now.

For more information on the DOE’s reasonable accommodations policy, visit the HR Connect Employee Portal (you must log in with your DOE User ID and password) and search for “COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodations.”

The DOE’s Office of Disability Accommodations and its Division of Human Resource’s Office of Medical, Leaves and Benefits will review applications. The review will be done in accordance with the reasonable accommodations process under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are denied an accommodation, you may reapply if you have different or additional documentation.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at 212-331-6311. You may also email the DOE at

Stay safe and healthy.
Michael Mulgrew
UFT President
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  1. Jervine Lawson-Jones

    I am over 65years old

  2. I do not feel safe/confident returning/working in the school building. Iam concerned healthwise.

  3. Kimberly Harper-Reid

    I am extremely afraid to return to the school building. Fear and anxiety are consuming my waking days’ and sleepless nights’ thoughts. I don’t want to get sick. I want to feel comfortable to teach and interact with the children but I don’t know how that’s going to be possible with so many unanswered questions and unknown variables. Working remotely for now is more reasonable and less anxiety provoked. We could be planning and preparing for a remote learning “first day of school” for everyone. Instead, here we are wondering what’s going to happen the first day of school as well as now expecting the possibility of a strike. Way too much to deal with!!!!

  4. I am well over 65 years old, submitted my request for Reasonable Accommodations in July, but have not yet received a response from the DOE. What to do now?

    • I would like to apply for RA this week. My mother died on August 15 and I was on 24/7 care for the months leading up to her death. I had no time to take care of myself or get to my doctor. I will go this week and submit my letter and application.
      Are accommodations still being considered?
      Thank you

      • Hi Jean. Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. I believe that reasonable accommodations are still being considered since the application is still opened (see application link above) Stay safe.

  5. My heart goes out to all who are suffering during this pandemic. OMG!!! Basically we are being told walk through the lava u May or May not get burned. Good luck! Survival of the fittest! This is not how it is suppose to be. Remember love yourself and protect your children.

  6. I have GERD related breathing issues that cause asthma and apnea and have been denied medical accommodations. If I get Covid and don’t die I will sue the city big time this is an outrage. I am in school teaching remotely when I could do the same and better at home.

  7. Have not received letter of accommodation to work from home. Age 73 hypertension, obesity, previously diagnosed with. COVID 19. Doctor has given authorization to stay home however I would like to have DOE authorization sent to Principal Estelle Moore.

  8. I am really scared about returning to my schools building this March 18th. I have tried to get an appointment to get the covid-19 vaccinne without any success. I am scared not only for myself but for my mother who I give her medication at night. My mother is 82 years old and she is diabetic, high blood pressure so she is at risk. I do not want to expose her to get covid-19. What could I do to continue at home teaching remotely?

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