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Americans with Disabilities Act - Information for Employees

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Title I of the ADA prohibits covered employers from discriminating against people with disabilities in employment and requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship or direct threat. The ADA was amended effective 1/1/2009 (ADAAA) to revise the definition of disability. At the City and County of Denver, Career Service Rule 12 addresses ADA leave.

Under the ADAAA, a disability is:

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
  • a history or record of such an impairment; or
  • a perceived impairment that is not transitory and minor. 

A major life activity may include, but is not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, working, or the operation of major bodily functions.

Questions and Answers

The city’s ADA Coordinator based on the medical information received from your health care provider (HCP). The ADA Coordinator is part of the Leave Team within the Office of Human Resources.

No, the term “disability” is very broadly defined under ADAAA. A disability can be temporary or permanent.

The city is required to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would cause an undue hardship or direct threat. A reasonable accommodation might include providing or modifying equipment or devices, part-time or modified work schedules, job restructuring, or job-protected time off work. Reasonable accommodations enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job.

  • I have not been employed for 12 months so I am not eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits and I need a leave of absence for the delivery of my baby.
  • I was diagnosed with cancer and need accommodations due to surgery and chemotherapy.
  • I have diabetes and need to take an additional four breaks during the day to check my blood sugar.
  • I need to be able to stand for short periods throughout the day due to a slipped disc. Can I have a sit/stand workstation?
  • My job requires me to lift 25 pounds, but now that I am pregnant my doctor says I can only lift ten pounds. May I be temporarily excused from lifting anything heavier than ten pounds?

Notify your supervisor and the ADA Coordinator. You do not need to disclose your medical condition or why you need an accommodation to your supervisor.

  • A request for reasonable accommodation kicks off the interactive process (IAP). The interactive process is a collaborative process between the ADA Coordinator who manages the process, your supervisor/management, and you to determine what, if any, accommodation can be provided so you can perform the essential functions of your job.
  • You will be asked to have your health care provider (HCP) complete a Reasonable Accommodation Questionnaire (RAQ) and you will be required to sign a medical authorization release. The ADA Coordinator will obtain pertinent medical information needed from your HCP.
  • The ADA Coordinator will review your medical documentation and determine whether you have a disability that qualifies under the ADAAA.
  • You will be contacted to discuss your health care provider's (HCP) recommendation for the type of accommodation needed. You must respond promptly to the ADA Coordinator throughout the IAP.
  • The ADA Coordinator will not share your medical condition with your supervisor/management team; only the specific accommodation request.

Your management team approves your accommodation in partnership with the ADA Coordinator.

No. ADA is unpaid leave. You must use your accrued time and/or short-term disability benefit (if you qualify) for pay. Employees on approved ADA leave are also eligible to received donated leave.

If you need to file a claim, call The Standard's Claim Intake Service Center at 1.833.228.0118. Ensure to make contact with your assigned Leave Coordinator, so they are aware you have filed a claim.

Questions about filing a claim? Refer to Frequently Asked Questions About Filing a Short Term Disability Claim and Frequently Asked Questions About Filing a Long Term Disability Claim.

No. The requested accommodation may be unreasonable or could be considered an undue hardship if it is unduly costly, disruptive, or would fundamentally alter business operations. The requested accommodation may create a dangerous situation for you or other employees. However, the ADA Coordinator will work with your supervisor to ensure every effort is made to accommodate your disability.

After exhausting all other accommodation options, you may be considered for the 90-day job reassignment process. The ADA coordinator will work with you to identify an appropriate position into which you can be reassigned. The position cannot have a higher pay range minimum than your current position. You must meet the minimum qualifications for the new position and be able to perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation. You do not need to be the best qualified individual for the position as reassignment is not a competitive process. If an assessment is required for a position, you must successfully pass the assessment prior to placement. The reassignment period, which is the time period that you will work with the ADA Coordinator to identify a new position, is 90 days.

Yes. However, you will have to go through the competitive hiring process. Under the ADA, you can only be reassigned to a lateral position or you can accept a voluntary demotion.

The interactive process (IAP) will be concluded. Your management team will contact you to determine next steps, which may be a medical disqualification from employment.

When one of the following occurs:

  • You voluntarily end the process.
  • You fail to actively participate in the process.
  • The medical documentation is not received.
  • You do not have a disability.
  • You are provided a reasonable accommodation in your current position.
  • You are placed in a vacant position through the job reassignment process.
  • The 90-day reassignment period ends without placement.
  • You resign or are terminated.

No. A return to work release from your health care provider (HCP) is required to return to work.

Returning to work at less than full-duty would be considered a request for accommodation. Working with restrictions must be approved by your management team.

 

Image collage of: Professionals discussing together in office, guide dog helping person in the city, and person testing blood sugar level

Workday and ADA

Ensure your personal contact and supervisor information are up to date in Workday before you begin the leave process. The Office of Human Resources (OHR) Leave Team will use this information to process your request. Learn more about Workday.

DERP and ADA

Absences lasting longer than two weeks may affect your Denver Employee Retirement Plan (DERP) contribution. Contact DERP directly with any questions.

Download the Americans with Disabilities Act - Information for Employees Brochure

Brochure cover image links to PDF

Questions about ADA?

OHR Leave Team:
cityFMLAandADA@denvergov.org
Phone: 720-913-5604
Fax: 720-913-5639

Benefits: 720-913-5697
or benefits@denvergov.org

DERP: 303-839-5419 
or mbrsvs@derp.org
web: www.derp.org

Payroll: 720-913-5186
or payrolldivision@denvergov.org
web: www.denvergov.org/payroll

The Standard Insurance Company
800-368-2859

Workday:
https://www.myworkday.com/denver