Some things to know about essential job function
February 11, 2016
From the EEOC publication: The ADA: Your responsibilities as an employer
Essential functions are the basic job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. You should carefully examine each job to determine which functions or tasks are essential to performance. (This is particularly important before taking an employment action such as recruiting, advertising, hiring, promoting or firing).
Factors to consider in determining if a function is essential include:
- whether the reason the position exists is to perform that function,
- the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the function can be distributed, and
- the degree of expertise or skill required to perform the function.
Your judgment as to which functions are essential, and a written job description prepared before advertising or interviewing for a job will be considered by as evidence of essential functions. Other kinds of evidence that will consider include:
- the actual work experience of present or past employees in the job,
- the time spent performing a function,
- the consequences of not requiring that an employee perform a function, and
- the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
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