Job Accommodation and the Interactive Process: The Manager or Supervisor's Role

Summary: Learn about your role as a supervisor/manager in determining job accommodation for an employee who is disabled or becomes disabled. 

Employee's Role

What to do How to do it
Identify the need for an employee's job accommodation. 

a.  Identify this need through:

  • Observation
  • Verbal or written notice from the employee
  • Medical note from the employee's licensed treatment provider

2. Begin the interactive process in a timely manner.

a.Identify job-related limitations with your employee, unless limitation are obvious.

b.  If not provided, ask the employee to obtain medical documentation of job-related limitations to support job accommodation.  Documentation may include a completed:

3. Involve UCDH Disability Management Services.

a.  Contact Disability Management Services, (916) 734-6367 or (916) 734-0292, to:

b.  Fax the latest licensed treatment provider's statement or other completed form to the Disability Management Counselor at fax 916- 734-2484.

c.  For accommodation in cases involving mental health issues, and the necessity for defined work restrictions, please contact UCDH Disability Management Services for assistance at 916-734-6367 or 916-734-0292

4. Participate in the interactive process meetings.

a. Identify the employee's essential and non-essential functions using the job description.

  • Consider whether your employee's limitations are temporary or permanent, as indicated by a licensed treatment provider.

b.  Determine if the limitations interfere with the employee performing the job function in the traditional way.

c.  Identify possible job accommodations:

  • Discuss which job accommodation request may be reasonable or may cause undue hardship on your department.

d.  Complete the Job Accommodation Interactive Process form provided by the counselor, indicating:

  • A clear explanation of your objective analysis of reasonable and unreasonable job accommodation requests
  • Why an unreasonable job accommodation would cause undue hardship on your department

e.  If a reasonable job accommodation cannot be identified:

Note: Do not ask the employee for confidential medical information.  Ask for information about how the medical condition affects the employee's abilities to perform job functions.  Be aware that information provided regarding the employee is confidential.

5. Implement selected job accommodation.

a.  Document the selected job accommodation and complete/sign the Interactive Process form, Temporary Accommodation Form or Reasonable Accommodation Record of Action (permanent accommodation).

b.  Documentation Examples: (a) Back/Orthopedic injury, (b) Fragrance issue, (c) Current Employee


  • Start date of accommodation
  • Costs associated with the accommodation
  • Employee and Supervisor signature for Temporary Accommodation form, or Supervisor signature on Reasonable Accommodation Record of action.


6. Follow up on the accommodation.

a. Discuss the accommodation regularly with your employee to assess satisfaction and determine effectiveness.

b. If accommodation is unsuccessful, continue the interactive process to evaluate other accommodations that may be available within the department or division.


Need assistance?  Contact UC Davis Health Disability Management Services:

  • Shabana Anees, 916-734-6367
  • Ann Preszler, 916-734-0292