The following chart was compiled to help parties involved in the City’s accommodation process recognize what does and does not constitute a restriction/functional limitation. The document identifies common misunderstandings regarding the identification of restrictions/functional limitations.

Inappropriate Identification of Functional Limitation(s) Appropriate Identification of Functional Limitation(s)


I was just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and my doctor said I can no longer do my job because it is too physically demanding.


This statement does not identify the employee’s functional limitations. Instead, it identifies a proposed accommodation measure – removal from current position.

In addition, those requesting disability accommodation are not typically required to disclose their medical diagnosis, but need to indicate (with a doctor’s note) how the disability-related functional limitation(s) impact their ability to engage in employment activities or access City services/facilities.

No heavy lifting (above 35 lbs), no prolonged standing (more than 30 minutes), and frequent regular breaks (every 45 minutes)


The above clearly identifies the employee’s functional limitations. Management and the employee, in conjunction with the City’s Employee Health and Rehabilitation and/or Disability Managment units, can review the limitations to determine if the employee’s job can be modified to meet the medical restrictions. If not, it will need to be determined whether the employee is qualified for a vacant position that corresponds to the above restrictions.

Family Status:

I need part-time hours so that I can take my father to medical appointments.


This statement focuses on a preferred accommodation measure as opposed to identifying the functional limitation.

I need to take my father to regular doctor’s appointments on Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm-3pm.


The above statement clearly identifies the functional limitations impacting the employee’s ability to perform their job. It allows Management and the employee the opportunity to explore whether accommodation is required, and if so, review all measures that effectively accommodate the employee’s restrictions. In fact, Management may be able to identify an accommodation measure that does not result in a loss of pay for the employee.


I cannot attend consultation meetings on the weekend as an accommodation.


This statement does not provide enough information to trigger the City’s Accommodation Policy. In particular, the individual does not link the request to a protected/prohibited ground in the policy.

I am a seventh-Day Adventist who observes the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.


This statement clearly links the request for accommodation to the prohibited ground of creed/religion. It provides sufficient information to trigger the accommodation policy. Of note, the actual functional limitation would not restrict scheduling a meeting on Saturday evening or Sunday.

Gender Identity/Gender Expression:

I was invited to a job interview. I can attend the interview, but prefer to have the interview over the phone. Can you accommodate me?


This request neither identifies the protected/prohibited ground that is the basis of the request, nor does it provide a rational basis for the accommodation measure requested. In addition, this request identifies a preferred accommodation measure as opposed to any functional limitations.

I am so excited about my upcoming job interview with the City. However, I am Transsexual and I’m worried about the way the interview panel members may perceive me. I don’t want to lose this opportunity because of who I am.


This statement more effectively identifies the concerns the applicant has and the ways in which the human resources representative can provide support. Of note, the above scenario would not require a telephone interview. Instead, the applicant should be informed of the City’s human rights policies and procedures, as well as its commitment to respectful and equitable employment practices.

Sex – Pregnancy:

I need to change my hours from 9am-5pm to 10am to 6pm because of morning sickness.


Morning sickness is an episodic condition that often accompanies pregnancy. There is no rational connection between the request for a permanent shift change and the episodic nature of morning sickness.

I’m struggling with morning sickness and may not be able to get in every morning by 9am, but will make up the time on those days that I am late because of the nausea.


This request appropriately indicates that the effects of morning sickness are sporadic in nature, and the need for accommodation will depend on the actual symptoms of the illness.