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January 09, 2009



Except for the fact that the updated EEOC of 2008. Businesses have to deal with reasonable accommodations for people with disability. So even though many businesses are adding some specifics to basically get away from hiring a qualified individual whom happens to be a person with a disability doesn't always wash. It's the same way some businesses without actually coming out and discriminate on age factour.

Below from the EEOC. Source: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html#basic

Most jobs require that employees perform both “essential functions” and “marginal functions.” The “essential functions” are the most important job duties, the critical elements that must be performed to achieve the objectives of the job. Removal of an essential function would fundamentally change a job. Marginal functions are those tasks or assignments that are tangential and not as important.8

If an applicant or employee cannot meet a specific qualification standard because of a disability, the ADA requires that the employer demonstrate the importance of the standard by showing that it is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”9 This requirement ensures that the qualification standard is a legitimate measure of an individual’s ability to perform an essential function of the specific position the individual holds or desires.10 If an employer cannot show that a particular standard is “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” the employer cannot use the standard to take an adverse action against an individual with a disability.

Employers may have to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to enable an individual with a disability to meet a qualification standard that is job-related and consistent with business necessity or to perform the essential functions of her position.11 A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an applicant or employee with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. An employee generally has to request accommodation, but does not have to use the term “reasonable accommodation,” or even “accommodation,” to put the employer on notice. Rather, an employee only has to say that she requires the employer to provide her with an adjustment or change at work due to a medical condition.12 An employer never has to provide an accommodation that would cause undue hardship, meaning significant difficulty or expense, which includes removing an essential function of the job.13


I've published this comment because letRVoiceBHeard has underscored an important legal point from the original post: This law was updated on September 25, 2008, and these changes went into effect as of 1/1/09. These amendments were designed to restore the original Congressional intent of the ADA, which was eroded over time by various court cases.

That said, I'm honestly confused by some grammatical errors in the introductory paragraphs. Maybe my readers can make better sense of this?

The bullet-pointed items from my original post are some of the things I see commonly come up that are 'essential functions' for roles in the Software/IT Industries. For example, some IT roles require the ability go into small spaces like the Westin data center, or under a false floor.

Regardless, I strongly suggest that if you have further questions about this law, consult your HR legal counsel. This legal update is very fresh so you should be clear as to how they apply to the roles at you company!

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