The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants with disabilities, except when the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment or the operations of the hiring process. These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job but also to successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities.
This checklist outlines key steps to help employers like you comply with the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements. Many states have their own laws that provide additional employment protections to employees, so employers must comply with the ADA and any applicable state laws. Accordingly, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to address specific issues and concerns.
Employers Subject to the ADA
Is your organization subject to the ADA?
Select “Yes” if your organization is any of the following:
• A private-sector employer with 15 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding calendar year;
• A state or local government agency with 15 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or preceding calendar year;
• An employment agency (such as a temporary staffing agency or recruitment company) of any size; or
• A labor organization that operates a hiring hall or has at least 15 members.
If you answer “No,” you can stop here. However, be sure to check any state employment laws that may apply to your organization.
Interactive Accommodation Process
Receive a request for an accommodation (or become aware of an individual’s need for an accommodation).
A request for reasonable accommodation starts an informal, interactive process between an employee (or applicant) and your organization. The employee or applicant should let you know they need an adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition. This request can be informal, and the individual does not the interactive process under the ADA. In some situations, you may become aware of an individual’s need for a modification by observing them or through a third party (such as a family member, health professional or friend).
If the individual declines the need for assistance or accommodation, you can stop here. However, be sure to document the individual’s denial of assistance or accommodation.Check any state employment laws that may apply to your organization.
Create and maintain separate confidential records of the individual’s request and the entire accommodation process.
Start recordkeeping as soon as you receive an accommodation request. Keep documenting as long as the employee remains at your organization. You should document every step of the process, including the request for accommodation, the individual’s medical condition, your interactions with the employee or applicant to discuss options, and why you selected a specific accommodation. To comply with the ADA, these records must be kept confidential and stored separately from the employee’s personnel file.
Gather information about the individual’s disability and functional limitations.
Review the individual’s job description.
When an employee or applicant requests an accommodation or the need for an accommodation becomes apparent, review the individual’s job description and determine the essential functions of that individual’s job. Additionally, identify any nonessential job responsibilities or tasks that can be reassigned to other employees to accommodate the individual.
Engage with the individual to identify options for an effective and reasonable accommodation.
When an employee or applicant requests an accommodation, the appropriate accommodation may be obvious, or the individual may suggest a reasonable accommodation based upon their life or work experience. However, when the appropriate accommodation is not readily apparent, you must make a reasonable effort to identify one. The best way to do this is to consult with the employee or applicant about potential accommodations that would enable them to participate in the application process or perform the essential functions of the job.
Evaluate whether the requested accommodation would create an undue hardship for your organization.
An employer does not have to provide an accommodation that would cause an “undue hardship” to their organization. Undue hardship means that the accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the organization. Some factors to consider in determining whether an accommodation is an undue hardship are the cost of the accommodation, the employer’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of the operation. If a particular
Select an effective and reasonable accommodation for the individual.
The employer may choose among reasonable accommodations as long as the chosen accommodation is effective, meaning it would remove a workplace barrier that is impeding the employee or applicant. If there are two possible reasonable accommodations, and one costs more or is more burdensome than the other, you may choose the less expensive or burdensome accommodation as long as it is effective.
Identify the existence of a direct threat.
Determine whether the individual is a direct threat to themselves or others in the performance of their job. An individual may be denied an accommodation or be terminated under the narrow exception of posing a direct threat to themselves or others. Under the ADA, a direct threat is a significant risk of substantial harm. Assessing the existence of a direct threat should be based on valid medical analysis and other objective evidence. If you determine a direct threat exists, document the threat by identifying the risk caused by the limitations, the potential harm that could result, and any medical or observable facts on which the risk is based.
Implement the selected accommodation and monitor its effectiveness.
The duty to provide reasonable accommodation is ongoing. Some individuals require only one reasonable accommodation, while others may need more than one. Others may need one reasonable accommodation for a time and then, at a later date, require another type of reasonable accommodation. If a reasonable accommodation turns out to be ineffective and the employee with a disability remains unable to perform an essential function, you must consider whether there would be an alternative reasonable accommodation that would not pose an undue hardship.
This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed representative at The Complete Manager Makeover Membership or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.
Americans with Disabilities Policy
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees with disabilities. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job functions of the position.
complies with all applicable laws concerning the employment of individuals with disabilities and acts in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The company does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
When a job applicant with a disability requests accommodation that can be reasonably provided without creating an undue hardship or causing a workplace safety risk, he or she will be given the same consideration for employment as any other applicant.
will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals (candidates and employees) with disabilities so that they can perform the essential functions of a job, unless the requested accommodations result in the following:
• A direct threat to the safety or well-being of the individuals or others in the workplace and the
threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation; or
• An undue hardship to .
Individuals who are currently using illegal drugs are excluded from coverage under the company ADA policy.
The Human Resources department is responsible for implementing this policy, including the
resolution of reasonable accommodation, safety, direct threat and undue hardship issues. Contact them with any questions or requests for accommodation.
Request for Disability Accommodation Form
provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), upon request of the individual.
Please complete this form to request any type of accommodation for a physical or mental disability. Attach applicable medical documentation.
considers the following requests:
• For accommodations required to ensure equal opportunity in the hiring process.
• For accommodations that enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job.
• For accommodations that enable employees with disabilities equal benefits and privileges of
All information relating to requests for disability accommodation will be maintained by Human Resources, and are considered confidential medical records. As such, they will only be accessible to supervisors or managers, first aid personnel and government officials (regarding compliance with ADA, FMLA or other applicable laws) on a need-to-know basis.
NOTE: may require additional medical certification or information.
Employee Name ________________________________ Date of Request _________________
Employment Status: _______ Applicant ______ Employee
Current Position and Department OR Position(s) Applied For ________________________________
Name of Direct Supervisor (for current employees only) _____________________________________
Describe your disability (attach any available medical documentation): _______________________
Describe the aspect of your disability that requires accommodation: _________________________
Explain the accommodation you are requesting (actions, changes, equipment, etc.): __________
Detail any resources you have, can access, or are aware of which would provide the requested
If medical documentation is not attached, please complete the following:
Name, Phone or Address of Primary Medical Practitioner or Physician
Name, Phone or Address of Medical Specialist (if applicable)
My signature constitutes permission for to contact the medical practitioner(s) listed above to release information applicable to my request for accommodation. I agree to complete any additional authorization forms required by the medical practitioner(s) for release of information. I certify that the information provided in this document is true to the best of my knowledge.
Employee Signature ________________________________ Date ______________________
Please attach additional pages if necessary. Please contact Human Resources with questions, and return this form to Human Resources upon completion.