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ADA Blog #65

How many body parts are needed to do the job?

An employee, working as a clerk at Safeway, claims his supervisor told him not to apply for a promotion because he has cerebral palsy. Yes, he has physical limitations in one of his hands, but his supervisor consistently advised him that he needed two hands to do the job he was interested in. He filed a discrimination claim and according to EEOC, he was finally promoted.

How did the supervisor know the particular job required two hands? Performing job functions is about getting the job done...not how the job is done. In other words, supervisors should be looking at the “function” to be performed...not the “method” of how it’s done. Did it really take 2 hands to do the job this employee was interested in? I don’t know what the specific job duty was in this case, but there are many ways to get a job done and using two hands, or two legs for that matter, may not be necessary. There are lots of resources available to help supervisors evaluate a job function & determine if there’s a reasonable “work around” to get the job done and done well.

Shelley

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.