What are the "essential functions" of a job?

[Captioned Video – 1:43 min.]


Essential functions are the basic job duties.


ADA Regulations say that the following things should be taken into consideration when determining whether a job function is essential:

  • The employer’s judgment about which functions are essential;
  • Job descriptions that were written before a job was posted;
  • The amount of time spent performing the function;
  • The consequences of not requiring the person to perform the function;
  • The terms of a collective bargaining agreement; and
  • The work experience of others who have had, or currently hold, the same or similar positions.

For additional information, take a look at the following resources:

FAQ: Can an employer be required to reallocate an essential function of a job to another employee as a reasonable accommodation?

Fact Sheet: Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace