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How to Engage in and Properly Document the Interactive Process Under the ADA

Author: Meryl Gutterman, formerly of Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, PC

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) prohibits a private employer from discriminating against an individual with a disability with respect to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, termination, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Under Title I of the ADA, a covered employer has an affirmative duty to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability who is qualified for the job he or she holds or desires.

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (the ADAAA) amended the ADA and expanded the definition of what it means to be disabled under the law. Because more individuals now meet the definition of disabled under the ADAAA, accommodating these individuals through the interactive process has become increasingly important.

To ensure compliance with the ADA, employers and their supervisors should follow the following guidelines for how to engage in and properly document the interactive process when determining whether to provide a reasonable accommodation to a potentially qualified individual with a disability. The process must be conducted on an individualized basis.