Reasonable Accommodation

Frequently Asked Questions

Required by federal and state law, it is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment to enable an employee with a disability to perform essential job functions without causing or incurring undue hardship on business operation. (It can also provide a qualified applicant an opportunity to participate in the examination process.)

The County must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The laws prohibit state and local governments from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in all employment practices.

Request a meeting with your supervisor/manager to explore the possibility of an accommodation. If necessary, review the Reasonable Accommodation Process and complete the Form located on the Disability Compliance Office’s (DCO) website , and meet with your medical provider. Submit any medical restrictions or limitations to your supervisor/manager, but do not provide diagnosis or name the medical condition.​

Many medical conditions, even temporary injuries, may qualify for reasonable accommodations if it interferes with your ability to work. Meet with your supervisor to discuss your needs, or contact your DPS HR​​ Ser​​vice Team Representative (Rep).​

Medical conditions/diagnoses should not be part of the discussion in the Reasonable Accommodation process. The focus is any restriction(s) and limitation(s) caused by a medical condition (E.g., if your doctor states you may not lift more than 10 lbs. due to a back injury, discuss aspects of your job that require you to lift 10 lbs., and potential accommodations or adjustments to the job, rather than the specifics of the back injury).

You are not required to submit any forms if you do not want to. It is possible your supervisor gave you the Reasonable Accommodation Forms in an attempt to address a concern in your work performance or attendance. Speak with your HR Service Team Rep regarding your options.

Reasonable accommodations are only for employees, not family members. Consult your HR Service Team Rep about other options for family care.

No. The form helps understand the nature of the request(s), provide limitations or restrictions without diagnosis from the medical provider, and serves as documentation. An Interactive Meeting may occur based on a medical note that is provided or a request that is made without the form. However, it is the employee’s responsibility to request the accommodation if one is needed.

  • Medical restrictions or limitations due to or as a result of the medical condition or disability
  • Clear and specific work restrictions
  • Approximately how long the condition or restriction(s) is expected to last and when it will end​

The County accepts medical information in the form of medical notes or other official communication from your health care provider.

Follow up with your supervisor, or contact your HR Service Team Rep for assistance. If you retained a copy of what you turned in, provide the paperwork to HR Service Team Rep or DCO.

A request can only be denied after being discussed in the interactive process. Contact your HR Service Team Rep and ask them to schedule an interactive meeting.​

In most cases you will not be sent home after requesting an accommodation. However, if the medical restrictions that you provide are such that your department does not initially think that you can safely continue to perform your job, then you could be sent home and placed on medical leave pending an interactive meeting and while the department determines if accommodations can be made. If this occurs, the DPS HR Service Team should be contacted to assist in the determination.

Communication held in good faith between employee and the County that helps to identify and implement an accommodation (mandatory under ADA and FEHA). Both parties have opportunity to openly discuss limitations imposed by a medical note and contribute ideas on how to assist an employee in performing essential functions of the job.

Interactive meetings to discuss medical restrictions, limitations, expected timeframe of condition or when it will end, help to decide on accommodation(s). A face-to-face meeting may not be required; if it is a simple matter, a discussion can take place by email or phone.

The employee, possibly a representative (a union rep or a family member with advance notice of the meeting), a supervisor and/or manager with direct knowledge of the essential duties and authority to make decisions about the request(s), a DPS HR Service Team Rep (ADA Coordinator), and/or the DCO when requested.

Accommodations may include: make existing facilities more accessible; restructure non-essential job duties; part-time or modified work schedules; relocate work​ area or parking; provide medical care leave; adjust or modify training material or policies; acquire or modify equipment; provide mechanical or electrical aids; provide qualified readers or interpreters; adjusted/flexible work/break schedule; adjust light or ambient noise; allow service/emotional support animals; other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.​

Sometimes an accommodation requested by an employee is not workable. The County is responsible for providing an effective accommodation. Primary consideration is given to your requests, but alternatives may need to be proposed.​

Reasonable Accommodation:
  • An interactive process and meeting occurs soon after an employee requests a need for accommodation or provides sufficient information. If the County requires more info, employee is given sufficient time to provide it.
Job Applicant Examination Accommodation:
  • Contact with a candidate and accommodation(s) for a Written, Performance or Oral exam will be made shortly after the receiving the request, provided it was submitted prior to the job posting’s final file date.

Yes, if there is uncertainty as to whether you can be accommodated and your medical restrictions appear to prevent you from being able to perform your job, you may be sent home and placed on medical leave while the department evaluates the request.​

If you are unable to work (with or without an accommodation) due to a medical condition or disability, you use your accrued leave balances and are paid like any other absence due to illness. It is possible you will apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI), integrate accrued leave balances, and receive benefit payments. If your disability is work-related, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation temporary disability payments.​

The County cannot purposely or willfully allow you to violate your medical restrictions. Therefore, if the accommodation is reduced work hours, or a limitation on writing, sitting, standing etc., and the accommodation is ongoing, you may be required to present a new medical note from your health care provider ending any restrictions imposed.

As needed, your accommodations follow you throughout your County career. Sometimes a position change eliminates the need for accommodation (E.g., if you have an accommodation for limitations on typing, but your new position does not involve much typing, you may not need accommodation. Speak with your HR Service Team Rep who can assist in your transition).

A special ADA Accommodations file in MySacCounty houses information related to accommodation requests. This file is separate from your main personnel file. Employees have access to their own ADA Accommodations file, but supervisors do not.

The County processes accommodations as confidentially as possible. Information may be released to individuals with a need-to-know to facilitate the accommodation(s). (Note: people with a need-to-know may include supervisor, manager, employee & union rep if brought into discussion, ADA coordinator-HR Service Team Rep & DCO Reps.)

The DCO’s website offers more information and the forms.

Citizens or employees may review the ADA Service Request and Complaint Procedure and used the Disability Access Complaint/Assistance Form to report concerns to any supervisor or manager. All information or forms are located the Public Access Requests section on DCO’s website.

If you do not feel comfortable speaking up, report the behavior to any supervisor or manager, a DPS HR Service Team Rep, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, or the Disability Compliance Office.

Discuss your concern(s) with any manager, a DPS HR Service Team Rep, the Equal Employm​ent Opportunity Office, or the Disability Compliance Office. An employee or applicant may review the County’s Complaint Guidelines, Complaint Frequently Asked Questions, and then complete Complaint Form located at the Equal Employment Opportunity ​Office’s website​.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accepts employment discrimination complaints based on protected categories. Contact these agencies for filing requirements and deadlines.

​​​Supervisor and Management; additional FAQs. (It is crucial to encourage an environment where employees feel comfortable requesting support to succeed on the job. Accommodations can be an important part of one’s physical and mental well-being in the workplace.)