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Definition of Essential Functions

Essential functions are duties of a particular job that are regarded as being crucial to the job that you have or desire. You are required to have both the physical and mental qualifications that are required to do a job's essential functions when you are being considered for an alternative job. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 defines essential functions as: the job exists to perform that function, the employee was hired because of an expertise in performing the function and not all employees are able to perform the function.

A job description of essential functions is one of the most vital elements in the effective rehabilitation of an injured worker. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer has to make a reasonable effort to determine the appropriate accommodation. This appropriate reasonable accommodation is thought to be best determined by an interactive process that involves both the employer and the qualified person who has a disability.

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