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Chapter VII: Nondiscrimination In Other Employment Practices

7.7 Evaluations, Discipline and Discharge

An employer can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other similarly situated employees without disabilities for performing essential job functions (with or without reasonable accommodation).

An employer also can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other employees regarding marginal job functions, unless the disability affects the ability to perform these marginal functions. If the ability to perform marginal functions is affected by the disability, the employer must provide some type of reasonable accommodation such as job restructuring (unless to do so would be an undue hardship).

A disabled employee who needs an accommodation (that is not an undue hardship for an employer) in order to perform a job function should not be evaluated on his/her ability to perform the function without the accommodation, and should not be downgraded because such an accommodation is needed to perform the function.

An employer should not give employees with disabilities "special treatment." They should not be evaluated on a lower standard or disciplined less severely than any other employee. This is not equal employment opportunity.

An employer must provide an employee with a disability with reasonable accommodation necessary to enable the employee to participate in the evaluation process (for example, counseling or an interpreter).

If an employee with a disability is not performing well, an employer may require medical and other professional inquiries that are job-related and consistent with business necessity to discover whether the disability is causing the poor performance, and whether any reasonable accommodation or additional accommodation is needed. (See Chapter VI .)

An employer may take the same disciplinary action against employees with disabilities as it takes against other similarly situated employees, if the illegal use of drugs or alcohol use affects job performance and/or attendance. (See Chapter VIII .)

An employer may not discipline or terminate an employee with a disability if the employer has refused to provide a requested reasonable accommodation that did not constitute an undue hardship, and the reason for unsatisfactory performance was the lack of accommodation.