Quinnipiac University’s Settlement Agreement (posted 1/12/15)
The case involved Quinnipiac University placing a student on a mandatory medical leave in response to issues related to the student’s depression. The primary complaint was that the student was forced to take a medical leave while options that would have permitted her to continue her enrollment were not considered. Following an investigation, a determination was made that the University discriminated against the student by placing her on mandatory leave and denying her the right to continue participate in the educational program. The specific finding was that the University had violated the student’s rights by refusing to consider modifying its mandatory leave policy and permitting her “to complete her course work while living off campus by attending classes either online or in person.”
In addition to paying compensatory damages to the student, the Agreement requires the University to adopt a non-discriminatory policy that includes a mandate to conduct individualized assessments and case-by-case determinations with respect to whether and how its policies should be modified to provide reasonable accommodations to students with mental health disabilities.