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Policy on Reasonable Accommodation

Baltimore County is committed to the fair and equal employment of people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation is the key to this non-discrimination policy. While many individuals with disabilities can work without accommodations, other qualified applicants and employees face barriers to employment without the accommodation process. It is the policy of Baltimore County to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities when such accommodations are directly related to performing the essential functions of a job, competing for a job, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. This policy applies to all applicants, employees, and employees seeking promotional opportunities.

Definition

  • Disability
    For purposes of determining eligibility for a reasonable accommodation, a person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment that materially or substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Reasonable Accommodation
    A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.

Examples of accommodations may include, but not be limited to:

  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices
  • modifying training materials
  • making facilities readily accessible
  • modifying work schedules
  • reassignment to a vacant position

Reasonable accommodation applies to three aspects of employment:

  1. To assure equal opportunity in the employment process;
  2. To enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and,
  3. To enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.

Procedure

When a qualified individual with a disability has requested an accommodation, Baltimore County shall, in consultation with the individual:

  • Discuss the purpose and essential functions of the particular job involved. Completion of a step-by-step job analysis may be necessary.
  • Determine the precise job-related limitation.
  • Identify the potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness each would have in allowing the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • Select and implement the accommodation that is the most appropriate for both the individual and the employer. While an individual’s preference will be given consideration, Baltimore County is free to choose among equally effective accommodations and may choose the one that is less expensive or easier to provide.
  • The ADA Coordinator or designee will work with the employee to obtain technical assistance, as needed.
  • The ADA Coordinator or designee will provide a decision to the employee within 15 calendar days.
  • If an accommodation cannot overcome the existing barriers or if the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business, the employee and the ADA Coordinator or designee shall work together to determine whether reassignment may be an appropriate accommodation.

Policy for Funding Accommodations

Funding must be approved by the Baltimore County Department/Agency for accommodations that do not cause an undue hardship.

Definition

  • Undue Hardship
    An undue hardship is an action that is unduly costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the Department/Agency.

Procedure for Determining Undue Hardship

  • The employee will meet with the ADA Coordinator or designee to discuss the requested accommodation.
  • The ADA Coordinator or designee will review undue hardships by considering:
  • The nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size, the financial resources, and the nature and structure of the operation; and
  • The impact of the accommodation on the nature or operation of the Department/Agency.

The ADA Coordinator or designee will provide a decision to the employee.

Procedure - Job Applicants

  • The job applicant shall inform the ADA Coordinator or designee of the need for an accommodation. The ADA Coordinator or designee will discuss the needed accommodation and possible alternatives with the applicant.

The ADA Coordinator or designee will make a decision regarding the request for accommodation and, if approved, take the necessary steps to see that the accommodation is provided.

Appeals

An employee or applicant who is dissatisfied with the decision pertaining to his/her accommodation request may file an appeal with the Department/Agency Director within 15 calendar days for a final decision.

If the individual believes the decision is based on discriminatory reasons, then he/she may file a complaint internally through Baltimore County’s Complaint Procedure.

This information is available in alternative format upon request.

 
Revised April 28, 2016         

 

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