Q & A – How do I determine the essential functions of a job?

Q: How do I determine the essential functions of a job?

A: Employers determine the essential functions of a job.  “Essential functions” are tasks which are the core, rather than marginal, functions of the job. Essential functions can be identified by:

• Whether an employee in the position is actually required to perform the function;
• Whether removing that function would fundamentally change the job;
• Whether the position exists to perform the function;
• Whether there are a limited number of other employees available to perform the function; or
• Whether the function is highly specialized, and the person in the position is hired for special expertise or ability to perform it.

Evidence that may be considered in deciding a job’s essential functions includes: the employer’s judgment, written job descriptions, the amount of time spent performing the function, and the consequences of not requiring a person in this job to perform the function.​