Reasonable Accommodation FAQs for Employees

    Request a meeting with your supervisor and inform your supervisor you want to explore accommodation.  Your supervisor should provide you with the County’s reasonable accommodation policy.  If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your medical provider and then submit any medical note stating work restrictions to your supervisor.​

    The interactive meeting allows an employer and employee to discuss the employee’s  reasonable accommodation request.  Both parties have the opportunity to freely discuss the limitations imposed by the medical note as well as contribute their ideas as to how to assist the employee in performing the essential functions of his/her job. ​

    The employer may choose any reasonable accommodation as long as the accommodation is effective

    Yes.  As required by the County’s policy and procedure, a manager/supervisor “shall arrange to meet with the employee within 10 working days from receipt of the request.” If the employee fails to participate, the employer will continue the process, rendering an accommodation decision using whatever documentation and information is available.  This could affect the County’s ability to properly accommodate the employee.​

    Your supervisor determines whether an accommodation can be made and the type of accommodation.​

    Employers determine essential functions in a variety of ways:  a function is essential if it is the primary reason the job exists; the employer’s judgment; job descriptions; the amount of time performing a certain function.  There is an expectation that essential functions will be performed with or without accommodation.​

    The Form A is used to allow the employee to explain in writing his/her need and to provide suggestions as to how an accommodation can be made.  It is a record of the request.​

    Neither the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) nor the state Fair Employment and Housing Act require you to disclose a disability.  However, an employer is entitled to know if the underlying condition qualifies as a disability that affects a major life activity, and the specific limitations and needs of the employee.​

    • An indication of the duration of the work restrictions, start and end dates
    • A statement that the work restrictions are due to or a result of your medical condition or disability
    • Work restrictions that are clear and specific

    The interactive meeting should take place within 10 working days of an employee giving notice of a need for accommodation.  Assuming the request has sufficient information, the employee will be notified of a decision within 20 working days from the date of the interactive meeting.  If the employer requires more information, the employee has 30 calendar days to provide the information from the date of request.​

    All departmental decisions to deny a request for reasonable accommodation are subject to review by the Equal Opportunity Division.

    No, you cannot be sent home for requesting an accommodation.​

    Yes, if there is uncertainty as to whether you can be accommodated, you may be sent home and placed on medical leave while the department assesses the request.​

    If you are unable to work (including unable to be accommodated) due to a medical condition or disability you are paid just like any other absence due to illness.  If your disability is work-related, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation temporary disability payments.​

    Contact the Equal Opportunity Division at (408) 993-4840.  You can also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission through this web address http://www.eeoc.gov/contact/index.cfm, or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing at https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/complaintprocess/.​

    Disability-related information, including medical documentation, is treated as confidential, and access to this information is limited to a need-to-know basis.  Requests for workplace accommodations and accompanying documentation are kept separate from the personnel file.​

    Yes.  The employee should notify the supervisor in advance of the meeting that a representative is attending.​

    The County cannot purposely or willfully allow you to violate your medical restrictions.  Therefore, if the accommodation is reduced work hours, or a limitation on writing, sitting, standing etc., and the accommodation is ongoing, you must present a new medical note from your provider ending any restrictions that were imposed.​

    ©2021 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.