CHAPTER 200 – GENERAL MANAGEMENT 70 – Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Diversity, Special Emphasis
Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.
70.1.1 Purpose. A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment or alteration that enables a qualified person with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. Federal departments and agencies will make reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the agency. The concept of reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, training, promotion, reassignment, and developmental assignments.
Reasonable accommodations vary with the needs of the individuals involved and the type of position in question. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) needs to use ingenuity and be flexible in making reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the applicant or employee, the specific disability and existing limitations, the essential functions of the particular job, the work environment, any applicable medical or environmental requirements, and the effectiveness of the proposed accommodation. The cost of a job or work environment accommodation can often be minimal. The applicant or employee should always be consulted before an accommodation is made.
Reasonable accommodation training will be a part of the new on-line employee orientation. Managers are to be trained on their responsibilities regarding reasonable accommodation processing. Management training will include at a minimum: (1) how to determine who is considered an individual with a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and (2) how to engage in the interactive process.
70.1.2 Sources for Reference.
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 701) — Prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the Federal Government. The substantive employment standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 12111, et seq. and 42 U.S.C. §§ 12201-12204 and 12210) are applicable to the Federal Government through the Rehabilitation Act. See 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(b).
Exec. Order No. 11478, prohibits employment discrimination and requires affirmative action on various bases, including disability, by the Federal Government.
Exec. Order No. 13164 – Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation - Requires agencies to establish effective written procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation.
Exec. Order No. 13160 – prohibits disability-based discrimination in education programs and activities conducted by federal agencies.
People With Disabilities in the Federal Government: An Employment Guide – This guide is intended to help Federal employers and human resource personnel understand issues and programs aimed at improving the employment of people with disabilities.
Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (October 17, 2002) – This Enforcement Guidance clarifies the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees/applicants for employment with disabilities regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship. Specifically, employers must provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with a disability unless it poses an undue hardship to the agency.
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Pub. L. 110-325, effective 2009, focuses on the discrimination at issue instead of the individual’s disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final regulations on the ADAAA on March 25, 2011, which became effective on May 24, 2011.