Disability Accomodation Definitions

Definitions

Discrimination

It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification, for an employer, because of a physical or mental disability or a medical condition, to discriminate against an individual in regard to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, job training, or any other terms conditions, and privileges of employment.

Qualified Individuals

An individual with a disability who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job.

Essential Functions

The fundamental job duties of a position that an individual with a disability holds or desires.  Essential functions do not include the marginal functions of a position.  A job function may be considered to be essential for any of several reasons, including, but not limited to the following:
    -The reason the position exists is to perform a specific function;
    -The limited number of employees available among whom the performance of a job function can be distributed;
    -The function may be highly specialized, so that the incumbent in the position is hired for his or her expertise or ability to perform the specific function.

Evidence of Whether a Particular Function is Essential

A job function may be considered essential for any of several reasons, including, but not limited to the following:
    -The employer's judgment as to which functions are essential;
    -Written job descriptions prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job;
    -The amount of time on the job performing the function;
    -The consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function
    -The terms of a collective bargaining agreement;
    -The work experiences of past incumbents in the position;
    -The current work experience of incumbents in similar positions.

Individual with a Disability

A person with a "disability" is an individual who has a physical or mental disability or physical condition that limits the performance of one or more major life activities.  Major life activities are broadly construed and include physical, mental, and social activities and working.  "Limits" shall be determined without regard to mitigating measures such as medications, assistive devices, prosthetics, or reasonable accommodations, unless the mitigating measure itself limits a major life activity.

Physical Disability

A physical disability is any physiological disease, condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:  neurological; immunological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory (including speech organs); cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine.

Mental Disability

A mental disability is any mental or psychological disorder or condition such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.  Mental disabilities do not include sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, substance abuse disorders from the current unlawful use of controlled substances or sexual orientation.

Medical Condition

Medical condition means any of the following:
    -Any health impairment related to or associated with a diagnosis of cancer or a record or history of cancer;
    -Any scientifically or medically identifiable gene or chromosome, or combination or alteration thereof, that is known to cause or statistically increase the risk of causing a disease in a person or his or her offspring.
    -Any inherited characteristics that is known to cause or statistically increase the risk of causing a disease in a person or his or her offspring.

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodation may include either of the following:
     -Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities;
     -Job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules and  reassignment to a vacant position;
     -Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; 
     -Adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials or policies;
     -The provision of qualified readers or interpreters and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Undue Hardship

Undue hardship means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, when considered in light of the following factors:
    -The nature and cost of the accommodation needed;
    -The overall financial resources of the facilities involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodations;
    -The overall financial resources of the covered entity, the overall size of the business of a covered entity with respect to the number of employees, and the number, type and location of it's facilities;
     -The type of operations, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the entity;
     -The geographic separateness, administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities.

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