Services Departments Government

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Employee/Applicant Request for Reasonable Accommodation
Form for county employee or applicant to use to make a request for a reasonable accommodation

Employer/County Decision Guide for Reasonable Accommodation
Form for the county as the employer to assist in assessing an employee's or applicant's request for reasonable accommodation

For more detailed information, please refer to Employment Policy and Practices #3

Job Accommodation Network, a free consulting service provided by the Department of Labor

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) federal enforcement agency for Title 1 of the ADA

Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) frequently asked questions on disability rights

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the ADA?

The ADA is a federal civil rights law designed to prevent discrimination and enable individuals with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society.

Who is protected by the ADA?

The ADA applies to a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (like sitting, standing, sleeping, walking, interacting with others, learning, working etc.)  It also protects a person with a record of or who is regarded as if s/he has a substantially limiting impairment.

The ADA only protects a person who is qualified for the job s/he has or wants.

What does the ADA require an employer to do?

Employers covered by the ADA have to make sure that people with disabilities:

What is reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities.

Accommodations vary depending upon the needs of the individual applicant or employee.  Not all people with disabilities (or even all people with the same disability) will require the same accommodation.

When does the employer have to provide an accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation must be provided if a person with a disability needs one in order to apply for a job, perform a job, or enjoy benefits equal to those offered to other employees.  An employer does not have to provide any accommodation that would pose an undue hardship.

In addition to actions that would result in undue hardship, and employer does not have to do any of the following:

How does an employee ask for an accommodation?

A family member, friend, health professional, rehabilitation counselor, or other representative also may request a reasonable accommodation on behalf of an individual with a disability.

What should the employer do when an employee requests an accommodation?

Once a reasonable accommodation is requested, and it is determined that the employee has a disability or is otherwise within the coverage of the ADA, the employer and the individual should discuss his/her needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation.  Where more than one accommodation would work, the employer may choose the one that is less costly or that is easer to provide.

“Interactive process” is a formal way of saying that the employer and the employee or applicant should talk about the request for a reasonable accommodation, especially where the need for the accommodation might not be obvious.  A conversation also helps where there may be a question regarding what type of accommodation might best help the individual apply for a job or perform the essential functions of a job.

Asking for Information about an employee’s disability

If the need for an accommodation is not obvious, the employer may ask for documentation describing the individual’s disability and why the requested accommodation is needed.  The employer may:

Confidentiality

The employer must keep confidential any medical information learned about an applicant or employee.  The ADA contains certain exceptions to the general rule requiring confidentiality.  Information that is otherwise confidential under the ADA may be disclosed:

Before completing a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form, please call DES at 503-655-8459

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