Applied Assessments, Inc.
Psychologists Dedicated to Jobs, People & Organizations

Valid Measurements that Deliver the Right People for the Right Job


ADAAA Compliance Preparations

In January of 2009, the amendment act to the original Americans with Disability Act (ADAAA) became law. Although it's been one year since the law went into effect, final interpretation and compliance guidelines have yet to be issued by the EEOC. Nevertheless, now is the time for employers to take action in preparing for the expanded scope and coverage of the ADAAA.

Under the new law, conditions that constitute a disability and limit a major life activity have been greatly expanded to include almost every major bodily function. In addition, the definition of a major life activitiy has become far more encompassing with the inclusion of sleeping, learning, and concentrating as covered activities. These stipulations make it likely that most chronic conditions may be considered a qualified disability.

The implications of the new ADA amendments for employers are far reaching and will likely result in:

  • A substantial increase in the number of individuals who qualify as disabled
  • Greater emphasis on how impaired individuals can be reasonably accommodated
  • Greater litigations about whether or not otherwise qualified individuals were discriminated against because of their disability.

Job Descriptions: The Employers Best Defense

Despite the expanded coverage and scope of the ADAAA, employers are NOT required to hire disabled individuals who are otherwise not qualified for the job. Nor are employers expected to reduce production standards, create new jobs, or remove essential job functions in order to accommodate disabled individuals. These circumstances should prompt action by employers to update their job descriptions. Applied Assessments assists its clients in preparing job descriptions that accurately reflect the nature of the work being performed.

The Job Descriptions Include:
A narrative summary of the general responsibilities of the position
Specific duties performed, accompanied by estimates of the percentage of time devoted to each of the major duties
Descriptions of the essential job functions including evidence of the importance of those functions to the job
A narrative summary of the climate in which the job is performed.
Job standards and performance expectations for each of the major duties and essential functions
Education and experience qualifications
Knowledge and experience requirements that are consistent with essential job functions and job standard

Job Analysis: The Foundation for Building Job Descriptions

Applied Assessments designs job descriptions based upon a thorough, formal job analysis. Casual assumptions or generic overviews about the demands of a job make it difficult to differentiate between essential and non-essential job functions, and ultimately undermine decisions about what constitutes a reasonable accommodation. Given the expanded scope of the ADAAA, ideal job analysis methods include input from incumbents and other job experts that focus on work behaviors rather than detailed task lists.

Data from job observations, interviews and job analysis questionnaires become the source for crafting accurate job descriptions. This objective and thorough approach to gathering and documenting job information allows an employer to justify the essential functions of the job and the performance standards that employees (whether disabled or not) are expected to meet.

Applied Assessments has conducted over 200 unique analyses for positions from entry level manufacturing jobs through senior executive officers. Job descriptions for our clients encompass small and large organizations in diverse industries. Learn more about how Applied Assessments assists organizations in preparing job descriptions which meet the demands of the more rigorous ADAAA by contacting us at 513-221-8833.


Related Topics

ADAAA Best Practice Update

Job Design & Analysis

Test Design & Validation