Work accommodations

A work accommodation is considered any modification or adjustment to a job or work environment that enables a person with a disability to perform their job. The accommodation may be temporary or permanent. To receive accommodations, you must disclose your condition/impairment and request a work accommodation.

The Hennepin County work accommodation procedure complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Accommodation process for the employee

Step one: Make an accommodation request

Use the request for accommodation form (DOC) to let your supervisor know you need a work accommodation. Please note: All information on the form must be completed to be considered.

Step two: Provide additional information (if applicable)

You may be asked to provide a medical statement, even if your doctor wrote a note.

Step three: Meet with your supervisor to discuss your request

If needed, the Leave and Accommodation Management Office is a resource for you and your supervisor.

Step four: Implement the accommodation (if request is accepted)

You and your supervisor should create a plan for implementing the accommodation. The agreement is confirmed with the approval on Part 2 of the request form. It should list the anticipated date you will receive the accommodation and identify who is responsible for implementing the accommodation.

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Accommodation process for the supervisor

First discussion

An employee may make a verbal request or submit a medical statement to you.

You should:

  • Be patient and listen carefully.
  • Don’t make promises — you may need the cooperation of others. For example: Acquiring specialized equipment or making work space changes often requires further research and input from property services or IT. A change in work duties needs input from your manager and Human Resources.
  • If it has not already been completed, ask the employee to fill out the request for accommodation form (DOC) even if you feel the request is unreasonable.

Work accommodation response

Step 1: Review the employee's request for accommodation form

This form provides the basis for your response and should give you more information than a medical statement.

Step 2: Verify the need for accommodation

In most cases, you'll want a medical statement documenting an employee's restrictions. Ask yourself, "Do I understand why I'm making the accommodation" and "Do I have a medical opinion confirming this"?

If needed, the Leave and Accommodation Management Office is a resource for you and your employee.

Step 3: Meet with the employee to discuss the request

Step 4: Document your response on the request form (Part 2)

If accepted, create a plan for implementing the accommodation.

If rejected, consider if there are other alternatives which are equally effective.

Send the completed request form the ADA Coordinator in a confidential envelope to:

Human Resources
Attn: ADA Coordinator
MC: 040

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What is reasonable accommodation

Both the Hennepin County Policy on Employment and Service Access for Persons with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow employees to receive consideration of changes in their jobs, work duties or work conditions due to serious medical conditions causing substantial limitations to major life activities. The law refers to these changes as reasonable accommodations. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment, that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.

Reasonable accommodations could include:

  • Making facilities readily accessible to and usable by a person with a disability
  • Restructuring a job by redistributing marginal job duties
  • Establishing part-time or modified work schedules
  • Obtaining or modifying equipment or devices
  • Transferring or reassigning a qualified employee to a vacant position
  • Providing readers and interpreters
  • Permitting the use of leave for necessary medical treatment

In some cases, your department may provide a needed change even if you would not be considered a "person with a disability" for ADA purposes.

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