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  Iowa Workforce Access
430 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Telephone: (515) 281- 9045
FAX: (515) 281- 9096
Email: access@iwd.iowa.gov

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act
Employer/Employee Rights & Responsibilities
A Guide for Iowans

Published by The Client Assistance Program
Iowa Department of Human Rights

Reprinted:  March, 2005
Revised:  May, 2001

Reproduction permitted with credit given to
Iowa Client Assistance Program

Table of Contents have been linked to their pages
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Who is a Person with a Disability?

Rights & Responsibilities of a Person with a Disability

Rights & Responsibilities of an Employer   


THE HIRING PROCESS               ON THE JOB

Job Qualifications
     Employer
     Employee
Attendance & Leave
    
Employer
     Employee
Job Duties
     Employer
     Employee

Performance
     Employer
     Employee

Recruitment
     Employer
     Employee

Compensation
     Employer
     Employee

Applications
     Employer
     Employee

Employee Evaluations
     Employer
     Employee

Job Interviews
     Employer
     Employee

Promotion
     Employer
     Employee

Medical Inquiries
     Employer
     Employee

Training
     Employer
     Employee

Reference Checks
     Employer
     Employee

Assignments
     Employer
     Employee

Testing
     Employer
     Employee

Discipline
     Employer
     Employee

Hiring
     Employer
     Employee

Termination
     Employer
     Employee

Reasonable Accommodation
     Employer
     Employee

Benefits
     Employer
     Employee

 

Work Environment & Activities
     Employer
     Employee

APPENDIX

Resources

Disability Etiquette


THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) OF 1990

This publication was designed with the belief that the ADA addresses both employers and employees to achieve a viable workforce and productive society. The law was intended to reflect the balance between the employer and the employee with a disability.

This booklet contains information on Title I of the ADA but should not be considered legal advice. Title I is directly related to the employment provisions of the law. Both employers and employees have responsibilities and rights under the ADA and this booklet addresses the balance of rights and responsibilities under the law.

This law was designed to remove the barriers that prevent qualified persons from enjoying equal employment opportunities solely because of a disability.  It demonstrates America recognizing the vitality and abilities of all people to contribute in our society, particularly in the area of employment.

This is a civil rights law.  It prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and encourages the recognition of citizens with disabilities as full participants in American life.  It recognizes that these members of the American work force are an excellent resource for employer                                                                                        


DEFINITION OF “A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY”

        The ADA uses the definition of a person with a disability as:

1)     Someone who has significant difficulty performing a major life activity (such as breathing, walking, talking, seeing, hearing, learning, etc.) as a result of a physical or mental condition. This has to be a substantial difficulty and not just a temporary one.

2)     Someone who has a past record of a disability or condition.  The person may no longer have a difficulty but had a record or history of the disability.

3)     The person is regarded or perceived as having a disability.

         The ADA also protects anyone who associates with someone who has a disability as defined above.


WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AND MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY UNDER TITLE I OF THE ADA?

          You have both rights and responsibilities in the area of employment.  An employer cannot discriminate against you because of your disability, if you are qualified for the job.  To be qualified you have to be able to do the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.  An employer must provide you a reasonable accommodation to help you carry out the essential functions of the job.

           You also have responsibilities.  You must be qualified (with or without reasonable accommodation) and you must meet the employment expectations of your employer.  You must, in most circumstances, request the accommodation you need.  It is the balance of rights and responsibilities that makes this law work for all Americans.


WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN EMPLOYER UNDER TITLE I OF THE ADA?

          The Americans with Disabilities Act cover businesses employing fifteen or more people.  Title I of the ADA requires that you not discriminate against qualified persons with disabilities in employment practices.

           Key company personnel must be aware of the ADA and your obligations under the ADA.  Managers and supervisory personnel should have a working knowledge of the significant aspects of the ADA. Terms to be knowledgeable of include:

Qualified individual with a disability
Essential functions of the job
Reasonable accommodation
Undue hardship
Direct threat to the health or safety of self
Direct threat to the health or safety of others

Post offer medical inquiries and examination
Case by case basis
Negotiated Accommodations

           As an employer, you have responsibilities under the ADA.  You cannot discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in any aspect of employment practice.  You must provide a reasonable accommodation to enable the person with a disability to apply for employment and carry out the essential functions of the job as well as participating in employment activities and practices of your company.  You must consider reasonable accommodation when it is requested and is appropriate to the situation.  This applies to both applicants and employees and should be negotiated with the employee.

          You also have rights.  You can set the employment practices for your company.  You can choose the most qualified person for a job.  You can set the standards and expectations of your company.

          It is the balance of rights and responsibilities that makes this law work for Americans.                                                                      Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB QUALIFICATIONS-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You may have job qualifications.
  • You may require specific skills.
  • You may require an employee to meet health or safety standards.
  • You may require specific licenses or certifications.
  • You may have physical and mental requirements.
  • You may have qualification standards that an individual not pose a threat
  • to the health or safety of others or to the health and safety of themselves.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You have the responsibility to ensure that your requirements do not  screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability solely on the basis of the disability.  You have the responsibility to ensure that any job requirements and  qualifications that do screen out or tend to screen out persons with disabilities be job related and consistent with business necessity.  This means that the qualification must be real and an actual measure for the specific job, not a general class of jobs.   All requirements must relate to essential functions of the job.  If it does not relate to essential functions, it is not consistent with business necessity.                                                       Back to the top

THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB QUALIFICATIONS-Employee

 AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to be considered for any job that you are qualified to perform.

  • An employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of your disability, if you can perform the essential functions of the job.

  • You have the right as an individual with a disability to request a reasonable accommodation to enable you to apply for and carry out the essential functions of the job.

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES:

§         You have the responsibility to meet the minimum qualifications of the job for which you are applying.

§         You have the responsibility to be able to perform the essential functions of the job.

§         If you need a reasonable accommodation to enable you to apply for or carry out the essential functions of the job, you must tell the employer you need the accommodation.

§         If the employer requests medical documentation for the need of an accommodation, you must provide specific, relevant documentation.

                                                                                    Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB DUTIES-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You initially decide what is an essential function of the job.
  • You initially decide what is a marginal function of the job.
  • You do not have to eliminate or reassign essential functions of the job to accommodate a person with a disability.
  • You do not have to change essential functions of the job.
  • You are not required to have a written job description.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You have the responsibility to provide a reasonable accommodation so a person with a disability can apply for and do the essential functions of the job.
  • You have the responsibility to eliminate or reassign marginal functions as a reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability.

TO DETERMINE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

  • Is the function actually being performed?

  • Would removing the function fundamentally alter the nature of the job?

  • Does the job exist to perform this function?

  • How many employees are available to do this function?

  • Can the function be redistributed to other positions without a problem?

  • Is the function highly specialized?

  • What is the amount of time spent doing this function?

  • What are the terms of collective bargaining?

  • Have former employees in this job performed this function?

  • What is the job description?

  • What are the consequences of an employee in this position not performing this function?                                           Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB DUTIES-Employee

 AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation so that you can apply for and carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • You have a right to the elimination or reassignment of marginal functions of the job as a reasonable accommodation.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it to apply for or carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation of your need for a reasonable accommodation, if the employer requests it.
  • You must be able to do the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Job Descriptions:

  • The ADA does not require that an employer have a written job description.

  • Written job descriptions are considered evidence of essential functions, however.

  • Job descriptions are helpful to both the employer and employee.

  • A job description can help determine what, if any, accommodation is needed.

  • If an employer chooses not to have written job descriptions, an individual should be informed of the essential functions of the job. Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS                                              

RECRUITMENT-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can recruit employees for any job as long as recruitment does not screen out or tend to screen out persons with disabilities.

  • You are not required to undertake special activities to recruit persons with disabilities.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must provide persons with disabilities equal opportunity to participate in the recruitment process.
  • You have the responsibility to ensure that recruitment information is accessible to persons with disabilities.            

APPLICATIONS- Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can ask about specific experience, skills, and job requirements.
  • You can ask for specific, relevant medical documentation, if a person with a disability requests a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must not ask pre-employment medical inquiries on application forms.
  • You must make applications accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • You must provide reasonable accommodation to enable a person with a disability to apply for a job.                   Back to the top

 THE HIRING PROCESS

RECRUITMENT-Employee

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You must be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the recruitment process.
  • You have the right to recruitment information being accessible to you.

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You have the responsibility to seek out recruitment information.

 APPLICATIONS-Employee

 AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can request that applications be in an accessible format.
  • You can request a reasonable accommodation to apply for the job

Be aware that this requests allows the employer to ask for additional medical information.

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must request the reasonable accommodation you need in order to apply for a job.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation for a reasonable accommodation, if this is requested by an employer.

                                                                                       Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB INTERVIEWS-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You may ask if a person can perform essential functions of the job.
  • You may ask how a person will perform essential job functions.
  • You can ask a person to describe or demonstrate how they will perform essential job functions.
  • You may ask about specific experience.
  • You may ask about other job requirements.
  • You may identify attendance needs and ask if an applicant can meet attendance requirements.
  • You have the right to request specific, relevant medical documentation if a person indicates a need for a reasonable accommodation.
  • You can ask about marginal job functions.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must focus on the ability of the applicant to do the job and not on the disability of the applicant.
  • You must not make medical inquiries regarding a person’s disability.
  • You must make job application and interview facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • You must provide a person with reasonable accommodation in a job interview, when a person with a disability requests this.  You can require specific, relevant medical documentation.

Interview Guidelines

  • Ask only about ability to do the job.

  • You can discuss essential and marginal job functions.

  • You cannot ask about the disability.

  • You can ask how a person would perform essential job functions.

  • You can ask if the applicant can meet attendance expectations.

                                                                                         Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

JOB INTERVIEWS-Employee

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation in the interview.
  • You have the right to discuss your job qualifications and abilities.
  • You have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation to enable you to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • An employer cannot ask you information about your disability during a job interview.

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You have the responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it to apply for a job.  Be aware that this request allows the employer to ask for further specific, relevant medical information.
  • You have the responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it during a job interview.
  • You have the responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it, to carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • You have the responsibility to provide specific, relevant medical documentation to an employer, if you are requesting a reasonable accommodation and if the employer requests the information.

Interviewing Tips:

  • Be aware that a request for accommodation allows an employer to seek further relevant information about your disability.

  • Focus on your ability to do the job, not your disability.

  • If you need accommodations, be prepared to identify your need.

  • If you need accommodations, help your employer know the resources available.                                                  Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

MEDICAL INQUIRIES-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You may require physical agility testing, as long as it is job related and requested of all applicants in that job classification.

  • You may require a post-offer medical exam, as long as this is applied uniformly to all employees and the exam is job related and consistent with business necessity.

  • You may offer a job, subject to the results of a post-offer medical exam.

  • You may require drug testing.

  • You may refuse to assign or hire an individual with specific communicable diseases in a food handling operation.

  • You may refuse to hire a person with a disability that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

  • You may refuse to hire a person with a disability that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves.

  • You may prohibit illegal use of drugs in the workplace.

  • You may prohibit use of alcohol in the workplace.

  • You may require periodic medical exams to determine if employees meet standards required by law.  Exams must be job related and consistent with business necessity.

  • You may conduct voluntary medical exams as part of an employee health plan.

  • You can require a current employee to submit to a medical exam, as long as the exam is job related and necessary for business.

  • You may make medical inquiries regarding workers’ compensation history, after making a conditional job offer.

  • You may refuse to hire or may fire a person who knowingly provides a false answer to a lawful post-offer inquiry about his/her condition or workers’ compensation history.

ADA & Workers’ Compensation:

  • Employers may not inquire into an applicant’s Workers’ Compensation history.

  • After making a conditional offer of employment, an employer may make medical inquiries regarding Workers’ Compensation history in medical inquiry or examination, as long as the same information is required of all applicants in that category and is not used to discriminate.

  • An employer cannot reject an applicant after learning of a Workers’ Compensation history based solely on that information.

                                                                          Back to the top

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You cannot ask an applicant about the disability, the nature or severity of a disability, or the duration of the disability or illness.
  • You cannot require a medical exam before making a job offer.
  • You must ensure that medical exams are job related and necessary for business.
  • You cannot retract a job offer on the results of the medical exam, unless the results indicate the individual cannot do the job (with or without reasonable accommodation).
  • You must show that a reasonable accommodation was not available, if you refuse to hire a person with a disability as the result of a post offer medical exam.
  • You cannot refuse to hire or retain a person with disability on the basis of stereotypes or fear.
  • You cannot refuse to hire or retain a person on the basis of something that may happen in the distant future, including an increase in workers’ compensation costs.
  • You must keep all medical information confidential.
  • You must keep medical information in a separate file.
  • You cannot refuse to hire a person with a disability on the basis of previous workers’ compensation claims.
  • You can request medical documentation for reasonable accommodation.  The request for information should be specific and relevant to the need for an accommodation.

Direct threat to health and safety:

  • A specific, significant risk of substantial harm.

  • Identify duration, nature and severity of risk and likelihood of harm.

  • Risk documented by medical and factual evidence.

  • Risk not speculative or remote.

  • Risk not eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodations.

                                                                            Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

MEDICAL INQUIRIES-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS
  • An employer cannot ask about your disability before offering you a job unless you introduced the discussion first.
  • An employer cannot ask about the nature, the severity or the duration of a disability.
  • An employer cannot ask you about workers’ compensation history before offering you a job.
  • You have the right to medical information being kept confidential.
  • You have the right to medical information being kept in a separate file.
  • You cannot be required to take a medical exam before an offer of a job is made.  The post-offer medical exam must be job related and consistent with the needs of the business.
  • You cannot be rejected from a job on the basis of a post-offer medical exam, unless you cannot do the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation or you pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or yourself.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation, if a post-offer medical exam determines you cannot do the essential functions without accommodation.
  • You cannot be rejected from a job based solely on previous workers’ compensation claims.

Summary:

  • No pre-offer medical examination or inquiry.

  • Job offer may be conditional on results of a post-offer medical examination.

  • Refusal to hire based on a medical examination must be job related and necessary for business.

  • Employer must show reasonable accommodation was not available or posed an undue hardship or direct threat to health and safety.

  • Medical information must be kept confidential and in separate files.

  • Medical information should be specific and relevant to the business necessity.

  • The employee cannot be required to sign a general waiver.

  •                                                                             Back to the top

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • An employer may require you to have periodic medical exams to determine if you meet specific job standards required by law.
  • You must submit to a post offer medical exam, if the employer requires this of all employees in that job category and it is job related.
  • You must provide accurate information in the post offer medical exam.
  • An employer can require you to take a physical agility test, as long as the test is job related and requested of all applicants in that job classification.
  • An employer can require you to take drug testing.
  • An employer can refuse to hire you if a post offer medical exam shows that you pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or a direct threat to yourself and no reasonable accommodation will reduce or eliminate that threat.
  • An employer can refuse to hire you, if a post offer medical exam shows that you cannot do the essential functions of the job and no reasonable accommodation is available.

ADA and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • FMLA is available to individuals who are very sick and unable to work or to those with a spouse or child or parent that is very sick and needs your care.  Very sick means requiring hospital care or continuing medical treatment.

  • FMLA covers individuals who have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours during that 12 months, and work for a public agency or a company with at least 50 employees (at either the same location or within a 75 mile radius).

  • If you are qualified, you are entitled to take a total of 12 weeks off work without pay within each one-year period (or with pay if your company provides it) and to keep any health insurance you already had during that 12 weeks.

  • If you are qualified, you also get your old job back or a job with equal pay, status and benefits, when you return.

  • Your employer may require medical documentation to determine eligibility for FMLA.                                       Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

REFERENCE CHECKS-Employer

 AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You may ask about job functions and tasks performed.
  • You may ask about quality and quantity of work.
  • You may ask about time records and other job related issues.
 
AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You cannot ask about illness, sick leave, medical issues or disability.
  • You cannot ask about workers’ compensation claims.  Back to the top

THE HIRING PROCESS 

REFERENCE CHECKS-Employee

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS
  • You have the right that only job related questions be asked in reference checks.
AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You have the responsibility to provide references when requested.

                                                                                      Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS 

TESTING-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to test to determine job qualifications.
  • You are not required to offer a reasonable accommodation in testing, unless requested by a person with a disability.
AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You have the responsibility to make testing accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • You have the responsibility to use testing that reflects skills and aptitudes rather than impaired skills.
  • You have the responsibility to provide reasonable accommodation in testing when requested by a person with a disability.
  • You must ensure that testing which screens out or tends to screen out persons with disabilities is job related and consistent with business necessity.                                                                 Back to the top

THE HIRING PROCESS

TESTING-Employee

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

§         You have the right to have testing made accessible to you.

§         You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in employment testing.

§         You have the right to testing that focuses on abilities rather than disabilities.

AS AN APPLICANT WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
 
  • You have the responsibility to request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it, to take employment testing.
  • You have the responsibility to provide specific, relevant medical documentation of the need for reasonable accommodation in testing, if the employer requests this information.                 Back to the top

THE HIRING PROCESS

HIRING-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS
  • You have the right to choose the most qualified person for the job.
  • You do not have to give preference to a person with a disability over a more qualified individual.
  • If a person with a disability cannot perform the essential functions of the job (with or without accommodation), that person is not qualified for the job.
AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You have the responsibility to consider a person with a disability when that person is qualified for the job.
  • You cannot consider the relative cost of a reasonable accommodation as a factor in the hiring decision or in the level of starting wage.
  • You cannot eliminate a qualified person with a disability solely on the basis of a disability.
  • You cannot eliminate a qualified person with a disability on the basis of the cost of an accommodation, unless it poses an undue hardship.
  • You cannot base a hiring decision on the elimination of a marginal function of the job to accommodate a person with a disability.
  • You cannot use another agency to avoid your ADA hiring responsibilities.

Tips for hiring authorities:

  • Ask the same questions of everyone.

  • Concentrate on ability not disability.

  • Make hiring decisions based on the applicant’s ability to do the essential functions of the job.

  • Be open and flexible.

  • Ask yourself if you are making a decision based on the disability.

  • Be honest.

  • Do not discriminate.                                     Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS 

HIRING-Employee
 
AS A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS
 
  • You have the right to be considered for any job for which you are qualified.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to enable you to carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • An employer cannot consider the cost of the reasonable accommodation in the final hiring decision.
  • An employer cannot eliminate you from hiring consideration because you ask for a reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer cannot eliminate you from hiring consideration because you cannot perform marginal functions of the job.
AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You must be qualified for the job for which you are applying.
  • You must be able to carry out the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer does not have to hire you over a person who is more qualified.

Tips for applicants:

  • Be prepared.

  • Be honest.

  • Know your abilities and qualifications.

  • Become familiar with the company where you want to work.

  • Know what the company products and services are.

  • Know something about the requirements of the job you are seeking.

  • Ask for information.

  • Be interested.                                           Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You do not have to provide an accommodation for a person with a disability if it poses an undue hardship* for you.
  • You do not have to provide an accommodation to a person with a disability, if the person with a disability does not ask for one.
  • You do not have to eliminate essential functions of the job to accommodate a person with a disability.
  • You can ask for specific and relevant medical proof to justify the need for an accommodation for a person with a disability.
  • You do not have to lower production standards as a reasonable accommodation.
  • You can suggest accommodations, but you do not have to research for an accommodation.
  • You can choose any accommodation, as long as it is effective.  You do not have to choose the first or most expensive accommodation.
  • You do not have to provide an accommodation to an individual with a disability that is not otherwise qualified.
  • You do not have to supply personal use items (such as eyeglasses or wheelchairs) as an accommodation.
  • You do not have to provide accommodation, if no disability is known.

*Undue Hardship:

  • Definition:  “extensive, substantial, disruptive or fundamentally alters the nature or operation of the business”.

  • Factors determining undue hardship include: 

  1. nature and cost of the accommodation

  2. overall financial resources of the employer

  3. overall financial resources of the parent company

  4. impact of the accommodation on the operation

                                                                            Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS 

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • You must consider a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability when such an accommodation enables the person to carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • You must provide reasonable accommodation when requested to enable a person with a disability to participate in the application process.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to enable a person with a disability to participate in an interview.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to enable a person with a disability to participate in employer sponsored activities.
  • You may not force an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, if that person did not request or need an accommodation.
  • You must be able to document an accommodation causes you undue hardship, if you choose not to provide the accommodation.
  • You must consider alternatives resources (such as tax incentives) before claiming an accommodation causes undue hardship.
  • You can permit an individual to share the cost of an accommodation, if this is undue hardship for you.  You cannot ask the person to share the cost or pay for the accommodation.

Examples of reasonable accommodations:

  • Making facilities accessible.

  • Making written or oral communications accessible.

  • Changing how or when an essential function is done.

  • Eliminating marginal job functions.

  • Restructuring a job.

  • Reassigning an individual to a vacant position.

  • Providing flexible leave policies.

  • Modifying work schedules.

  • Using assistive technology.

  • Modifying exams, policies, training materials.

  • Providing qualified readers or interpreters.

                                                                          Back to the top


THE HIRING PROCESS                     

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation that will enable you to apply for a job.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to a job interview.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to help you carry out the essential functions of the job.
  • You have a right to a reasonable accommodation that will enable you to participate in employer sponsored activities.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation in testing.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
 
  • You must request the accommodation if you need one.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation to your employer about the need for an accommodation, if your employer requests this.
  • The employer does not have to provide an accommodation, if it poses an undue hardship.
  • You have the responsibility to identify the accommodation you need.
  • You have the responsibility to maintain production standards determined by the employer.
  • You have the responsibility to carry out all essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation.

About determining reasonable accommodations:

  • The employer and employee should work together to determine an effective accommodation.

  • The employee should provide information that is helpful to the employer in determining the type of accommodation that will allow the employee to do the job effectively.

  • The employee should be aware that the request for the accommodation allows the employer to ask further questions about the disability.

  • All specific, relevant medical information that is obtained to determine the appropriate accommodation must be filed in a separate file from the personnel files.

                                                                           Back to the top


ON THE JOB

ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to expect regular attendance.
  • You have the right to uniformly request medical proof for employee absence.
  • You have the right to set work schedules that work for your company.
  • You have the right to apply your leave and attendance policies consistently to similarly situated employees.
  • You have the right to deny an accommodation in scheduling or attendance requested by an employee with a disability, if it poses an undue hardship for you.
AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
 
  • You must consider modified work schedule as a reasonable accommodation when requested by a person with a disability and when it is not an undue hardship for you.
  • You must consider change in scheduling, attendance or leave as a reasonable accommodation, when requested by an employee with a disability, and if the change is not an undue hardship.
  • You must treat each employee with a disability on an individual basis when determining a reasonable accommodation.
  • You must be able to document that the accommodation requested by a person with a disability poses an undue hardship.

                                                                                    Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS
  • You have the right to request a modification of attendance or leave, if this is a reasonable accommodation and it does not pose an undue hardship for the employer.
  • You have the right to request a change in scheduling, if that will enable you to carry out the essential functions of your job and that does not pose an undue hardship for your employer.
AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must meet the attendance requirements of your job.
  • If you need a change in attendance or leave requirements as a reasonable accommodation, you must request this of your employer.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation to your employer (if the employer requests it) regarding a need for change in attendance, leave or scheduling.                     Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

PERFORMANCE-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to set performance standards for a job and for your company.
  • You have the right to require employees meet production standards.
  • You have the right to require employees meet performance standards.
  • You have the right to require employees meet standards of conduct.
  • You have the right to review and evaluate the performance of your employees.
  • You do not have to lower production standards as an accommodation to a person with a disability.
  • You can hold current users of alcohol or illegal drugs to the same standards of performance and conduct as other employees.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must convey production and performance standards clearly to employees.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability to enable them to meet performance and production standards (when requested by the employee).
  • You cannot have separate or higher performance standards for persons with disabilities.                                                Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

PERFORMANCE-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to enable you to meet performance standards of your employer.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to enable you to meet production standards of your employer.
  • You have the right to have your performance reviewed and evaluated based on performance.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must meet the performance standards established by your employer.
  • You must meet the production standards established by your employer.
  • You must meet the standards of conduct required by your employer.
  • If you need a reasonable accommodation to meet the performance standards, you must request the employer to provide the accommodation.
  • If you need a reasonable accommodation to meet production standards, you must request that your employer provide the accommodation.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation of the need for an accommodation, if your employer requests this.      Back to the top

ON THE JOB

COMPENSATION-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can establish the compensation for jobs within your company.
  • If an employee with a disability is reassigned to a part time position as a requested reasonable accommodation, you can pay the employee the rate for the part time job.
  • If an employee with a disability is assigned to a lower paying position as a requested reasonable accommodation, you can pay the employee the lower rate for that job.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You cannot reduce the pay of an employee with a disability because you have had to eliminate marginal job functions as a reasonable accommodation.
  • You cannot reduce the pay of an employee with a disability because of the cost of an accommodation.
  • You must provide your employees with disabilities with equal compensation of any other similarly situated employee in a job category.

                                                                                     Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

COMPENSATION-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to equal compensation of any other similarly situated employee in your job category.

  • You cannot have your pay reduced because a marginal job function has been eliminated.

  • You cannot have your pay reduced because of the cost of a reasonable accommodation.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You have the responsibility to meet the expectations of your job.
  • You are not required to but you can choose to pay for an accommodation or share the cost of an accommodation.
  • If you are reassigned to a part time position as a requested reasonable accommodation, your employer can pay you the rate for the part time job.
  • If you are assigned to a lower paying position as a requested reasonable accommodation, your employer can pay you the lower rate for that job.

                                                                                   Back to the top


ON THE JOB                                               

EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can evaluate employees.
  • You can set the standards for evaluation and review of employees.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must evaluate employees uniformly.  Evaluations must not be on the basis of stereotypes.
  • You must not harass an employee with a disability in an evaluation because of the disability.
  • You cannot retaliate against an employee, because of a request for reasonable accommodation or because of the disability.
  • You cannot evaluate an employee with a disability on the failure to perform marginal job functions.
  • You must provide the employee a reasonable accommodation to allow the employee to participate in the evaluation process.
  • You must evaluate an employee on performance without regard to the request or need for a reasonable accommodation. 

                                                                                 Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to be evaluated on your ability and not on your disability.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to enable you to participate in an evaluation.
  • You have the right to review your evaluation and any other relevant materials in your personnel file.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must request a reasonable accommodation, if you need this to participate in the evaluation process.
  • You must provide your employer specific and relevant medical documentation of your need for a reasonable accommodation to participate in the evaluation process.                  Back to the top

ON THE JOB                                               

PROMOTION-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to promote employees.
  • You have the right to develop promotional standards for employees.
  • You have the right to establish a career advancement track for employees.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must not limit, segregate or classify an individual employee with a disability in such a way that negatively affects promotion.
  • You must not limit access to promotional opportunities to the exclusion of persons with disabilities.
  • You must not have separate progression of promotion for persons with disabilities.
  • If you post promotion information, you must ensure that employees with disabilities have access to that information.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to enable an employee to carry out the essential functions of the job to which the employee is promoted.                                                    Back to the top

ON THE JOB     

PROMOTION-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to be considered for promotions for which you are otherwise qualified, without regard to your disability.
  • You have the right to participate in advancement programs to enable you to achieve promotion.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to enable you to carry out the essential functions of a job to which you are promoted.
  • You have the right to access to promotional opportunities within your company, without regard to your disability.
  • You have the right to information about promotions in an accessible format.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must meet the qualifications of the job for which you seek promotion.
  • You must be able to carry out the essential functions of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.
  • You must request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it to achieve promotion.  Be aware that a request for a reasonable accommodation allows the employer to seek further specific, relevant medical information from you.
  • You must provide specific and relevant medical documentation of the need for a reasonable accommodation, if your employer requests it.

                                                                                     Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

TRAINING-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can decide the training programs you offer employees.
  • You can decide the training requirements of the job.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • You must ensure that training is accessible to employees with disabilities.
  • You must provide reasonable accommodation to your employees with disabilities to enable them to participate in training.
  • You must provide equal opportunity to employees with disabilities to participate in training.                                  Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

TRAINING-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

§         You have the right to equal opportunity to participate in training.

§         You have the right to have training in an accessible format.

§         You have the right to a reasonable accommodation to participate in training.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE  RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must request a reasonable accommodation (if you need it) so that you can participate in training.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation of your need for an accommodation, if this requested by the employer. Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

ASSIGNMENTS-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You assign employees.
  • You do not have to reassign essential functions of the job to accommodate an individual with a disability.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must consider an employee with a disability for assignments for which the employee is qualified.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability to enable the employee to do the assignments, if this is requested by the employee.                                   Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

ASSIGNMENTS-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to be considered for any assignment for which you are qualified.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation so that you can carry out an assignment.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must request a reasonable accommodation, if you need it.
  • You must provide specific, relevant medical documentation to an employer of your need for an accommodation, if requested.

                                                                               Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

DISCIPLINE-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to discipline employees.

AS AN EMPLOYER YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must treat all equivalently situated employees similarly.
  • You cannot discipline an employee with a disability, because of the elimination of a marginal job function.
  • You cannot discipline an employee with a disability, because the employee requests reasonable accommodation.
  • You cannot retaliate against an employee, because that employee files an ADA complaint against you.                               Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

DISCIPLINE-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You cannot be disciplined because you request accommodation.

  • An employer cannot discipline you because a marginal function is eliminated from your job as a reasonable accommodation.

  • You cannot be disciplined because you file an ADA complaint.

  • You must be treated similarly to other persons in your job category.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must meet the expectations of the job and can expect discipline for violation of those expectations.                              Back to the top


ON THE JOB 

TERMINATION-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can terminate an employee.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You cannot terminate an otherwise qualified employee with a disability on the sole basis of disability.
  • You cannot terminate an employee with a disability because that employee needs or requests a reasonable accommodation.
  • You cannot terminate an employee with a disability because that employee files an ADA complaint against you.           Back to the top

ON THE JOB

TERMINATION-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to be treated with uniform standards.

  • You cannot be terminated solely on the basis of a disability.

  • You cannot be terminated because you request or receive an accommodation.

  • You cannot be terminated because a marginal function of your job is eliminated.

  • You cannot be terminated because you file an ADA complaint.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • You must meet the job standards, qualifications and conduct set by the employer.  If you do not or cannot meet expectations for the job with or without reasonable accommodation, you can be terminated.

                                                                                       Back to the top


ON THE JOB

BENEFITS-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You can establish the benefit package for your company.
  • You can choose the company activities available to employees.
  • You can use acceptable risk assessments for the assignment of benefits
  • You can have a limit on the amount of benefits, as long as the benefits are uniformly applied to all insured employees.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must offer equivalently situated employees the same benefit coverage.
  • You cannot have a separate benefit package or different terms and conditions for employees with disabilities.
  • You cannot deny insurance to an individual with a disability because your rate may rise as result of this employee.
  • You cannot fire or refuse to hire an employee with a disability, because your health, disability or other insurance rates will rise.
  • You cannot fire or refuse to hire a person because the disability of an employee’s family member may raise your benefit costs.  Back to the top

ON THE JOB 

BENEFITS-Employee

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right of equal access to all benefits available to employees in your job category.
  • You cannot be denied insurance benefits (health, disability, etc.) because your participation increases costs for your employer.
  • You cannot be fired or refused hire because your employer’s insurance costs go up due to your disability.
  • You cannot be fired or denied hire because a family member with a disability increases benefit costs to the employer.
  • You cannot be fired or denied hire because your disability is not covered by the employer’s current health insurance plan.
  • An employer may not look for alternate coverage that denies you access to insurance because of your disability.

AS EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You cannot request a separate benefit package to meet your needs as a person with a disability.

INSURANCE BENEFITS:

·         Other laws address insurance benefits issues such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1998,

·         Proposed legislation such MiCASSA.                       Back to the top 


ON THE JOB 

WORK ENVIRONMENT AND ACTIVITIES-Employer

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to establish the employee activities of your choice.
  • You have the right to set the work environment for your employees.
  • You have the right to ask for specific and relevant medical documentation, if an employee requests an accommodation to participate in employer sponsored activities.
  • You do not have to provide transportation for your employees with disabilities, unless you provide similar transportation to other employees.
  • You do not have to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability to participate in employee activities, unless the employee with a disability requests an accommodation.

AS AN EMPLOYER, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must assure employee activities and facilities are accessible to your employees with disabilities.
  • You must assure that you provide equal opportunity to your employees with disabilities to participate in employer sponsored social and recreational activities of the job.
  • You must provide a reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities to enable them to participate in employee activities.
  • You must not segregate persons with disabilities into separate facilities or offices.
  • You must not segregate persons with disabilities in separate common use areas, such as break facilities and lunchrooms.     Back to the top

ON THE JOB

WORK ENVIRONMENT AND ACTIVITIES-Employee 

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RIGHTS

  • You have the right to participate in employer sponsored activities.
  • You have the right to a reasonable accommodation, if you need this to participate in employee activities.
  • You have the right to employee activities in an accessible format.
  • You have the right to inclusion in the facilities provided to similarly situated employees.
  • You have the right to equal opportunity to the social and recreational activities of your job.
  • You have the right to use transportation, if this offered to other employees in your job category.
  • You have the right to be free of harassment because of your disability.

AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • You must inform your employer if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in employee activities.
  • You must provide specific and relevant medical documentation of the need for an accommodation to participate in employee activities, if your employer requests this.
  • You have the responsibility to follow accepted procedures to report harassment.                                                   Back to the top

APPENDIX


RESOURCES

If you have specific questions about information contained in this book or if you need further information about your rights and responsibilities under the ADA, contact:

 

Iowa Client Assistance Program
Department of Human Rights
Second Floor, Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
1-800-652-4298 (Voice/TTY)
www.state.ia.us/dhr

Iowa Division of Persons with Disabilities
Department of Human Rights
Second Floor, Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
1-515-242-6172 (Voice/TTY)1-888-219-0471
www.state.ia.us/government/dhr/pd 

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
510 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
1-515-281-4211 (Voice/TTY)1-800-532-1486 (Voice/TTY)
www.ivrs.iowa.gov                                                    Back to the top

Iowa Department for the Blind
524 4th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2364
1-515-281-1355 (TTY)
1-800-363-2587 (Voice)

www.blind.state.ia.us

Deaf Services Commission of Iowa
Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building, Second Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
1-515-281-3164 (Voice/TTY)

www.state.ia.us/dhr/ds

Iowa Civil Rights Commission
211 E. Maple Street, Second Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
1-800-457-4416 (Voice)

www.state.ia.us/government/crc

Iowa Workforce Development Center
1000 E. Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
1-800-562-4692(Voice/TTY)

www.iowaworkforce.org

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
310 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 8000
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203
1-800-669-4000 (Voice)

1-414-297-1115 (TTY)
www.eeoc.gov

Job Accommodation Network
918 Chestnut Ridge Road, Suite 1
West Virginia University, PO Box 6080
Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6080

1-800-526-7234 (Voice/TTY)
www.jan.wvu.edu                                              Back to the top


DISABILITY ETIQUETTE

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Use common sense.

Be polite and considerate

Offer assistance.

Accept the person’s answer.

Ask how a person wishes assistance.

Don’t shout.

Don’t ignore.

Make eye contact.                                            Back to the top


GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC DISABILITIES

Put yourself at eye level with a person who uses a wheelchair.

Talk directly to a person who is deaf, not to the interpreter.

Ask a person whom you cannot understand to repeat.

Give specific instructions to a person who is blind.

When a person who is blind enters, introduce yourself. As you are leaving an area where there are persons who are blind in the group, excuse yourself.

When talking with a person who is hard of hearing, look directly at that person and speak clearly.

It is difficult for persons with hearing loss to distinguish numbers or letters. Numbers and letters often sound alike. Write balances, totals and directions so that the person can also see them.

Be aware of persons with limited walking ability. Be conscious of their standing in line and offer seating.

In customer seating areas, seating for persons using wheelchairs should be interspersed throughout.          Back to the top


CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS FOR PERSONS WHO ARE HARD OF HEARING

Speak clearly.

Speak slowly.

Look directly at the person.

Do not look down while talking.

Do not cover your mouth.

Do not have items such as pencils in your mouth when talking.

Write numbers and letters. It is difficult to hear numbers and letter clearly.

Have good lighting.

When using the RELAY system, call 1-800-735-2943 (VOICE) and an operator will assist you in communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.


TELEPHONE SKILLS

Identify your specific reason for calling: be clear about topic.

Speak clearly.

Repeat numbers and letters carefully, when requested to repeat.

Check out with the person what they understood.

Offer to send information in writing.

When using Relay Iowa, talk directly to the person calling (not the intermediary).                                           Back to the top

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