The job description is very important when you need to provide a basis from which to determine whether a disabled applicant or employee is otherwise qualified for the job and, if so, to assist in determining what accommodation would need to be required for the applicant or employee to be able to perform the essential functions of the position.
Effective January 1, 2009, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) significantly altered the way in which disabilities need to be evaluated and accommodated. Under the ADA, as amended, “essential functions” are defined as those duties that an individual must be able to perform. This is where job descriptions become important. In determining whether a function is essential, one of the elements that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will look at is a written job description prepared by the employer. Job descriptions are not required under the ADA, but for most employers, detailing the essential functions in a job description will help ensure that applicants and employees with disabilities are not discriminated against because they cannot perform marginal job duties.
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