The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employment discrimination against qualified applicants and employees on the basis of disability. In accordance with the law, it is the policy of the County of Marin to provide equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities. The County will engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process with any qualified employee or applicant who requests reasonable accommodation.
Who is a Qualified Individual?
The law covers qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is defined as an individual with a disability who meets the skill, experience, education, or other job-related requirements of an employment position that he or she holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.
A person with a disability is an individual who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity;
- has a record of such an impairment which is known to the employer;
- is regarded by the employer as having, or having had, such an impairment; or
- is regarded by the employer as having, or having had, a disorder or condition that has no present disabling effect, but that may become a disability.
Impairments that require special education or related services can also be disabilities.
Major life activities include seeing, hearing, breathing, walking, speaking, learning, working, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, lifting, and other major physical, mental and social activities.
Requesting an Accommodation
In general, a qualified person with a disability is responsible for making their disability-associated limitations known and requesting accommodation when needed. Due to privacy laws, the County is subject to strict limitations regarding inquiries about an individual’s disability.
An employee or applicant may submit a request, either verbally or in writing, to their supervisor or manager, Department Head, or directly to the County’s Human Resources Department. Documentation from an appropriate medical provider may also be required to provide verification of the disability-associated limitations.
The Interactive Process
When a request for accommodation is made, the HR representative and the individual making the request shall engage in a good faith interactive process to determine what, if any, accommodation might enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the job. During the interactive process, a variety of possible accommodations may be discussed.
While each request for accommodation is unique and individual cases vary, steps in the process may include, but are not limited to the following:
- HR requests additional information from the individual and his/her medical provider regarding the disability-associated limitations and the need for accommodation;
- HR and qualified individual identify possible accommodation(s) that would effectively enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the position, or otherwise enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment;
- HR assesses effectiveness and reasonableness of each accommodation option;
- HR conducts discussion with department;
- The County notifies individual of accommodation determination and implements accommodation determined to be most appropriate.
If you need help filling out the form or have questions about the process, please call Human Resources at (415) 473-6104.