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.
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.
An employer 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 any modification to a job or work environment that enables an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. This may include adjusting the employee’s work environment, job-protected time off, or possible job reassignment.
The city’s ADA Coordinator determines if an employee has a disability under ADAAA. The ADA Coordinator is part of the Leave Team within the Office of Human Resources.
A request for accommodation kicks off the interactive process (IAP). The IAP is a collaborative process between the ADA Coordinator who manages the process, the employee’s supervisor/management, and the employee to determine what, if any, accommodation can be provided so the employee can perform the essential functions of the job.
The ADA Coordinator will reach out to the employee to discuss the medical or physical condition. The ADA Coordinator will work with the employee and the employee’s health care provider (HCP) to obtain pertinent medical information regarding the disability. Based on the medical information provided by the HCP, the ADA Coordinator will determine whether the employee has a disability as defined by the ADAAA.
Once it’s determined that an accommodation is needed, the ADA Coordinator will contact you, the employee’s supervisor/management, to discuss the accommodation. You must respond promptly to the ADA Coordinator throughout the IAP.
When your employee is working, you are responsible for ensuring the timecard in Kronos is accurate. If your employee is not working due to a disability, you need to complete the timecard until ADA is approved. This is especially important for exempt employees who do exception reporting. Failure to complete the timecard accurately may result in overpayment. Once ADA is approved, the Controller’s Office, Payroll Division will enter the leave information for your employee, and you must approve the timecard at the end of each pay period.
An employer does not have to provide an accommodation that is unreasonable, would cause an undue hardship to the employer, or create a danger to the employee or others. A claim of undue hardship must be based on an individualized assessment of current circumstances, which show that a specific accommodation would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. The ADA Coordinator will work with you to determine whether an undue hardship exists.
Contact the ADA Coordinator right away.
After exhausting all other accommodation options, the employee may be considered for the 90-day job reassignment process. The ADA Coordinator will work with the employee to attempt to identify an appropriate position into which the employee can be reassigned. Positions considered for reassignment must be vacant, approved to fill and cannot have a higher pay range minimum than the employee’s current position.
The employee 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. The employee does 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, the employee must successfully pass the assessment prior to placement.
The reassignment period is 90 days. During this time, the employee may or may not be working but will remain in their current position until the 90-day period ends or the ADA Coordinator is able to find another position for the employee, whichever comes first.
The interactive process (IAP) will be concluded. Your Human Resources representative will contact you to determine next steps in the employment process, which may be a medical disqualification. Once the IAP is concluded, it is critical you work with your HR representative regarding next steps.
When one of the following occurs:
No. A return to work release from the employee’s 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 the employee’s supervisor/management team.
The following independent City and County of Denver Human Resource groups process FMLA for their employees:
Police, Fire, Sheriff, 911 and all Career Service employees supporting Public Safety:
Denver Public Library:
Denver District Attorney's Office: