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Job Restructuring

Job restructuring is a form of reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that can involve removing job functions (typically marginal functions) or changing when or how a job is done. The following information is from a publication by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the ADA

Job restructuring includes modifications such as:

  • reallocating or redistributing marginal job functions that an employee is unable to perform because of a disability; and
  • altering when and/or how a function, essential or marginal, is performed.

An employer never has to reallocate essential functions as a reasonable accommodation, but can do so if it wishes.

The following information is from a publication by the EEOC and discusses an employer’s choice to remove an essential function instead of reassigning the employee. See footnote 25 from Enforcement Guidance: Workers' Compensation and the ADA.

Note, however, that the ADA does not prohibit an employer from removing an essential function that an employee is no longer able to perform, in lieu of reassignment, if removing the essential function does not result in a diminution of an employment opportunity or status.  Where removing an essential function results in a diminution of an employment opportunity or status, an employer may remove the essential function in lieu of reassignment only if both parties voluntarily agree that it is preferable to reassignment.

For information about how to determine whether a job function is essential, see section 2.3(a) in the EEOC publication called the Technical Assistance manual for Title I of the ADA.