According to the ADA, an employer may not ask disability-related questions and may not conduct medical examinations until after it makes a conditional job offer to the applicant (EEOC, 1995). An individual, as an applicant or a current employee, may wish to disclose that s/he has a disability and needs an accommodation, but is uncertain whether disclosure is possible or advisable. Including a brief and accurate statement in the job description about the employer’s responsibility and the individuals rights may help initiate the interactive process between an employer and an individual with a disability. If an individual is qualified to perform essential job functions except for limitations caused by a disability, the employer must consider whether the individual could perform these functions with a reasonable accommodation. An employer is not required to reallocate the essential functions of a job as a reasonable accommodation.
The term ‘job description’ is a flexible one, but here I’ll be using it in a modern context, to describe all of the copy you’d use on an online job board. It usually includes information like job title, duties, salary, etc.
A job description typically consists of six major components: 1) essential job functions; 2) knowledge and critical skills; 3) physical demands; 4) environmental factors; 5) the roles of the ADA and other federal laws such as the Occupational Safety Health Act (OSH Act); and 6) any explanatory information that may be necessary to clarify job duties or responsibilities.
Typically, organizations use their human resources or personnel department to create job description templates. In some cases however, a departmental group, a manager, or another individual (usually the direct supervisor of a position) might be responsible for creating one. In any case, make sure the creator of the template is familiar with the company’s or organization’s needs.
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