This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades.
The first step in determining whether an accountant who has cerebral palsy is qualified for a certified public accountant job is to determine if the person is a licensed CPA.
Or, if it is a company's policy that all its managers have at least three years' experience working with the company, an individual with a disability who has worked for two years for the company would not be qualified for a managerial position.
This first step is sometimes referred to as determining if an individual with a disability is "otherwise qualified.
This second step, a key aspect of nondiscrimination under the ADA, has two parts: Identifying "essential functions of the job"; and Considering whether the person with a disability can perform these functions, unaided or with a "reasonable accommodation.
This is an important nondiscrimination requirement. Many people with disabilities who can perform essential job functions are denied employment because they cannot do things that are only marginal to the job.
A file clerk position description may state that the person holding the job answers the telephone, but if in fact the basic functions of the job are to file and retrieve written materials, and telephones actually or usually are handled by other employees, a person whose hearing impairment prevents use of a telephone and who is qualified to do the basic file clerk functions should not be considered unqualified for this position.
The regulations provide guidance on identifying the essential functions of the job.
The first consideration is whether employees in the position actually are required to perform the function. A job announcement or job description for a secretary or receptionist may state that typing is a function of the job. If, in fact, the employer has never or seldom required an employee in that position to type, this could not be considered an essential function.
If a person holding a job does perform a function, the next consideration is whether removing that function would fundamentally change the job. The regulations list several reasons why a function could be considered essential: The position exists to perform the function.
A person is hired to proofread documents. The ability to proofread accurately is an essential function, because this is the reason that this position exists.
A company advertises a position for a "floating" supervisor to substitute when regular supervisors on the day, night, and graveyard shifts are absent. The only reason this position exists is to have someone who can work on any of the three shifts in place of an absent supervisor.
Therefore, the ability to work at any time of day is an essential function of the job. There are a limited number of other employees available to perform the function, or among whom the function can be distributed.
This may be a factor because there are only a few other employees, or because of fluctuating demands of a business operation. It may be an essential function for a file clerk to answer the telephone if there are only three employees in a very busy office and each employee has to perform many different tasks.Nov 16, · Wisconsin trying to block out College Football Playoff debate.
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