Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Amended ADA Smart: The “one person, one job” concept


Responding to a request for reasonable accommodation flows more smoothly when you keep in mind the concept of “one person, one job.” Thoughts about what other workers will want or how to come up with a unique solution to a complicated request take a back seat to a focus on the person and the job he currently holds.

One Person, One Job

Here is the law supporting the request and a process for responding with the least amount of stress:

The Law

Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare, Chapter 126 Equal Opportunity for Individual with Disabilities, Subchapter I (Employment) Section 12111. Definitions:

(8) Qualified individual

The term “qualified individual” means an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. For the purposes of this subchapter, consideration shall be given to the employer’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.

(9) Reasonable accommodation

The term “reasonable accommodation” may include

(A) making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and

(B) job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

The Concept

The concept of “one person, one job” is very straight forward.

First, focus your attention on the worker and his current job. Don’t get ahead of yourself by thinking of alternative jobs. The least expensive and least disruptive accommodation will be found in the current job.

Second, focus deeply on the nature of the request. Have the worker (not the supervisor) fill out the “Request for Reasonable Accommodation” form from the Matheson SEED package. Review the information on the form to see if the worker has identified a solution that fits the company’s resources. If the worker has not been specific, ask questions. Be sure you are clear about the purpose for the accommodation.

If the initial conversation does not identify a solution, involve the worker’s direct supervisor. Do not discuss the disability-related issue prompting the request. In a calm, solution-oriented, three person meeting, guide the worker and the supervisor as they explore potential solutions. At first, do not reject solutions based on cost or inconvenience. Focus on creating a space for each to express ideas. If anger or resistance is present, your job will be harder. Consider the effect of anger on finding a positive solution. You may have to postpone the conversation until the underlying issue is diluted.

If a three-person meeting does not identify a solution begin looking at other available resources. Visit, contact a local occupational or physical therapist skilled in accommodation, and always keep the worker aware of your efforts.

If your search for an accommodation to the current job is not evident, keep in mind that you do not need to change productivity standards to achieve accommodation.

The value of the “one person, one job” concept becomes evident when the qualified individual is not able to perform the essential functions of his job with accommodation. At this point you are moving away from “one job” to a consideration of another job. It is important at this point to clearly document the fact that the individual is not able to safely or effectively perform the essential functions of the job for which he was qualified. Be sure the person realizes that he has reached this point in the employment cycle. Be clear that consideration of another job means that employment in his previous capacity is coming to an end.

Finally, when the justification behind transferring out of the previous job is documented, begin the process of searching for an available alternative for which the person is qualified.

Roy Matheson Matheson SEED

  Increase Your ADAAA Compliance with
Our Matheson SEED Solutions Package!

The Matheson System for Equitable Employment Determination (SEED) helps disability managers, absence managers, and work evaluation service providers build a tailored “Plan to Not Discriminate” (PND).  A PND reflects your desire to comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) by making equitable employment decisions through hiring, retention, and reasonable accommodation best practices.


Matheson System for Equitable Employment Determination
Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations ( FCE ) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Work Simulation , Impairment Rating , Permanent Partial Disability Rating – See more at:
No Comments | Category Uncategorized | Tags:

Leave a Reply

By submitting a comment here you grant Industrial Health Serving VA and MD a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an administrator's discretion.