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EMPLOYMENT LAW GUIDE: - page 18 / 134

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job at issue. The essential functions of a job are the fundamental job duties of the position

the individual holds or desires. The term “essential functions” does not include the marginal

functions of the position. A job function may be considered essential if:

  • a.

    the reason the position exists is to perform that function;

  • b.

    there are a limited number of employees available among whom the

performance of that job function can be distributed; and/or

  • c.

    due to the function being so highly specialized, the incumbent in the position was hired for her expertise or ability to perform the function.

    • 2.

      Employer’s Obligation to Reasonably Accommodate

Employers are obligated to make “reasonable accommodations” to allow qualified

individuals with a disability to work. Reasonable accommodations commonly include:

  • (i)

    making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;

  • (ii)

    restructuring the job, modifying work schedules, reassigning the employee to a vacant

position; or (iii) acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying

examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

The obligation to make reasonable accommodations, however, does not include

lowering quality or production standards or providing personal use items (i.e., glasses or

hearing aids). Further, employers need not make an accommodation that imposes an “undue

hardship” on the employer. An undue hardship involves significant difficulty or expense.

Whether a “hardship” is “undue” may depend on the employer’s size, financial resources and

the nature/structure of operations.

J.

Retaliation

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