Job Description Leaves “Essential Job Function” Open for Interpretation

A security officer in a troubled school requested a chair and desk in an accommodation to allow her to rest for ten minutes every hour of her shift due to plantar fasciitis. The school denied her request because walking constantly was an “essential job function”. When the officer sued the Chicago Board of Education, the School Board moved for summary judgment. The federal district court reviewed a number of facts to determine if constant walking was actually an essential function. The district court found that one of those facts, the employee’s job description, left the issue open to interpretation making summary judgment improper. Find out how important an updated job description can be here.