Monday, April 27, 2015
Last Updated: Friday, August 21, 2009
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Workplace Accommodations
REASONABLE ACCOMODATION OVERVIEW
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits employment discrimination based on disability within the federal government. Congress amended this act in 1992 to adopt the employment nondiscrimination standards of the Americans with Disabilities Acts which covers the private sector and state and local governments.
An Individual with a Disability means a person who has a mental or physical disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity, (walking, talking, breathing, etc.); has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.

        An individual with a disability is qualified if he or she satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position; and can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Essential functions refer to job duties so fundamental to a position that the position cannot exist per se if those duties are not performed. A function can be “essential” if, among other things, the position exists specifically to perform that function; there are a limited number of other employees who could perform the function if it were assigned to them; or the function is specialized and the incumbent is hired specifically based on his/her ability to perform it. As an example, a motor vehicle operator position that requires extensive driving has a requirement that the operator has maintain a valid driver's license. The ability to drive is an essential function of the position; a person who cannot drive cannot perform this essential function and would not be considered qualified. Essential functions vary from position to position and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
A specific accommodation that would require significant difficulty or expense constitutes an undue hardshipLink. An agency makes a hardship determination on a case-by-case basis, considering the nature and cost of the needed accommodation as well as the impact of compliance on the agency's overall operation. Agencies do not have to provide reasonable accommodations that would impose an undue hardship on the Agency (Headquarters Department of the Army). Most reasonable accommodations require only minimal cost and many none at all.
Employees are not required to disclose a disability. However, for effective reporting data collection, analysis, and in support of Army's goal to hire and retain individual with disabilities, self-identification provides valuable information. The information denoted on the Self-identification form, available through the Office of Personnel ManagementLink, is protected by the Privacy Act and used only for statistic purposes.

Reasonable Accommodation Information - Printable Request Form. Click here.
Merit System Protection Board Rulings. Click here.
What is reasonable accommodation? press image to go to next page

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