Civil Service Bulletin 8.19 provides the policy regarding the reassignment of an employee who can no longer perform the duties of his or her position due to a disability.
In the event that an employee can no longer perform the duties of his or her position, the policy provides a structured response. There are detailed legal concepts, technical definitions, and procedural nuances associated with reasonable accommodation. It is particularly important that human resource and equal employment opportunity professionals be consulted for detailed guidance in the accommodation process on a case-by-case basis. Managers and supervisors must take great care to avoid making impromptu assumptions or judgments concerning a disabled employee’s ability to perform the duties of any position, or what steps may, or may not, be appropriate in consideration of reasonable accommodation. Failure to appropriately address the requirements of the ADA, and related measures, can have a substantial financial impact on the employer and have detrimental consequences on the employee and the workforce.
Accommodation begins within the employee’s current position. That is, making changes in the work environment, work tools, or work methods, to enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her position. If reasonable accommodation cannot be made in an employee’s current position, the agency must then explore other reassignment options, in strict order, as follows:
Reassignment to an equivalent vacant position, for which the employee is qualified, with or without accommodation, provided such a position is available within the agency. In this situation the agency may nominate such employee without testing, provided he or she meets the established minimum qualifications for the classification.
Demotion to another classification within the agency. As is the case above, the agency may nominate such employee without testing, provided he or she meets the established minimum qualifications for the classification. The compensation policy regarding demotion will apply.
Simultaneous to (2.) above, the agency must refer the employee to the Bureau of Human Resources, which will assist the employee in identifying other transfer or demotion opportunities in state service for which he or she is qualified. In this situation, normal transfer and demotion testing procedures are followed. Agencies are required to consider employees so referred after recalls from layoff. A qualified employee so referred must be hired with or without reasonable accommodation.
NOTE: During the search process the agency and employee may agree that resolutions other than those outlined above may be more appropriate. Agency EEO Officers and/or human resource representatives should be consulted at all stages of the process. Such agreements may be considered, but must be entered into freely by the employee and the agency.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Civil Service Bulletin 8.19B (PDF)