Volume 11 Issue 02
Making a Statement – About Reasonable Accommodation and Equal Opportunity
JAN Consultants frequently receive requests from employers for sample language to aid in the development of a reasonable accommodation statement. A reasonable accommodation statement is often included in job postings, on-line applications, employee handbooks, reasonable accommodation policies, etc. There is no formal reasonable accommodation statement that employers are required to use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers have the flexibility to draft their own statement to communicate their commitment to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees.
There are many ways to inform applicants and employees of the opportunity to request reasonable accommodation. One way is to include a reasonable accommodation statement as part of an equal opportunity (EO) statement. An EO statement makes it clear that a business has no intention to discriminate on the basis of disability or other legally prohibited bases. By including a reasonable accommodation statement within the EO statement, applicants and employees are immediately informed of their right to request reasonable accommodation when employment notices and policies are distributed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises employers to consider including an EO statement in job postings, employee handbooks, and other sources of workplace policies distributed to applicants and employees.
Under the revised regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, federal contractors and their sub-contractors are required to inform all applicants and employees of their EO rights and the contractors' obligations to engage in affirmative action to hire, employ, and advance qualified individuals with disabilities. For more information, see the equal opportunity clause in the Section 503 regulations (§60-741.5) or contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). To locate an office near you, see the nationwide OFCCP office directory at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/contacts/ofnation2.htm.
Section 503 also requires contractors to invite applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify as having a disability. As part of this process, contractors are encouraged to provide additional information about reasonable accommodation. OFCCP's voluntary self-identification form (form CC-305) includes a reasonable accommodation notice. The content of the voluntary self-identification form may not be altered, but contractors are permitted to include additional reasonable accommodation information with the form, such as a contact person responsible for processing accommodation requests and information about the employer's reasonable accommodation policy.
JAN offers a variety of customizable sample reasonable accommodation and EO statements. This information is not intended to be legal advice. If legal advice is required in preparing a reasonable accommodation or EO statement, please contact an appropriate legal professional.
Sample Reasonable Accommodation and EO Statements:
- [Employer] is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. [Employer] is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, contact [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- [Employer] complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and [insert state civil rights law], it is the policy of [Employer] to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- [Employer] is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, [Employer] will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- It is the policy of [Employer] that qualified individuals with disabilities not be discriminated against because of their disabilities in regard to job application procedures, hiring, and other terms and conditions of employment. It is further the policy of [Employer] to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of the employment process. [Employer] is prepared to modify or adjust the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of the applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee to be considered for the position he or she desires, to perform the essential functions of the position in question, or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation will impose an undue hardship. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to [include name and/or department, telephone, and e-mail address].
- To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.
- "Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment." (OFCCP, Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability, Form CC-305)
Employers seeking reasonable accommodation and EO statement language may also be interested in sample accommodation-related forms and resources. For this type of information, see JAN's website at http://askjan.org/topics/forms.htm.