An employee is not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
if he is unable to perform the essential functions of the employment position he
holds. But what makes a particular job function “essential,” and can a job
function be “essential” even if it is rarely performed? Last month, the
Eleventh Circuit joined the Sixth and Eighth Circuits in holding that a job
function that is rarely performed may still be considered “essential.” In Bagwell v. Morgan County Commission,1 the Court found that, although
certain maintenance tasks were rarely required, a park groundskeeper was not
qualified to do the job in part because she could not safely perform such tasks.