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Essential Job Functions

ADA Claims Attorneys in Washington D.C.

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are protected from disability discrimination. Your employer is supposed to evaluate you and other disabled workers according to whether you are qualified for the job. To determine qualification, employer will look at whether you can acceptably perform essential job functions when given reasonable accommodations. When the employer advertises or promotes, it is supposed to identify which job functions are essential, or fundamental, to the job, and which, marginal. Marginal functions are not supposed to be used to make employment decisions like hiring, firing, or promoting. If you are worried about how essential job functions will impact your discrimination claim or request for a reasonable accommodation, you should discuss your situation with experienced Washington D.C. ADA claims lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti.

Essential Job Functions

Under the ADA, Washington D.C. employees who have a disability are entitled to be free from discrimination based on that disability. The central question our attorneys will look at to determine whether you are considered disabled under this law is whether you are substantially limited in a major life activity when using a mitigating measure. Workers disabled under the ADA’s definition are entitled to a reasonable accommodation unless providing it would present an undue hardship. However, to obtain a reasonable accommodation, you must be able to perform basic job duties with or without reasonable accommodation.

Evaluation of Essential Job Functions

Every job requires the employer to examine to determine what tasks are crucial to performance. You must be qualified and capable of performing the essential job functions of a job to be protected under the ADA with regard to that job. Reasonable accommodations, which are changes to the job or work environment that would allow you to do the job in spite of the disability, can vary, depending on what the essential job functions are. For example, if you develop chronic wrist pain from De Quervain's tenosynovitis, but you are otherwise a skillful administrative assistant, an employer to whom it would not pose an undue hardship might accommodate you with voice activated software. Similarly, if you have cancer, but your role as a magazine editor doesn’t require you to be onsite at every point of the day, and you need certain days off to undergo chemotherapy, a reasonable accommodation might be to modify your onsite schedule.

Employers are not required to hire or keep on an employee who can’t meet basic requirements of the job. However, if you can perform the essential functions, our lawyers would argue that you should be given a reasonable accommodation and should not be subject to a negative employment action. Employers are supposed to consider what the essential job functions of your job are before taking actions such as recruiting, advertising, hiring, or promoting. Factors your employer should consider to make this determination about essential and marginal functions include whether the reason the job exists is to perform the function, the number of other employees that could perform the function or among whom tasks could be distributed, and the degree of skill or expertise needed to do the job.

Generally, when an employer prepares a written job description prior to advertising or interviewing for the position, and its judgment about what functions are essential will serve as evidence that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can consider when it evaluates a claim brought under the ADA.

When a disability discrimination charge is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency will also consider how much time you spend or would spend performing the function and necessary tasks, the actual work experience of prior employees who had the job, the consequences to your employer of not requiring that you perform the function, and any applicable terms of a collective bargaining agreement. Should the matter proceed to litigation, the court will also include this evidence in determining whether to award damages.

Hire Our Washington D.C. Attorneys for Your ADA Claim

If you are concerned about your essential job functions in connection with your ADA claim, you should discuss your situation with our experienced Washington D.C. disability discrimination lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents disabled employees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.

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