Essential Job Function
Q: An employee has requested that one of their job functions be removed because of their disability. I think that the function is essential. Is there any guidance on how to figure out whether a job function is essential or not?
A: The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the regulations for employment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To help determine what is or is not an essential job function, the EEOC looks at multiple factors that must be weighed when trying to understand what may or may not be an essential function. In their guidance, The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer, the EEOC lists the following points:
- 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.
- The actual written job description.
- 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.