I am often asked why the Federal Agency will go out of their way to remove an individual based upon every conceivable reason other than the true and underlying reason: One’s medical inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job. Despite submitting medical reports; despite a Supervisor’s knowledge of the daily pain and suffering of an employee; despite it all, the Agency will often focus upon the employee’s conduct or lack of work production, or upon the number of absences; then place the employee on a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) ; refuse to grant LWOP; then propose to terminate the individual based upon all of the myriad actions they have taken.
When the query arises as to why the Agency will not just propose the removal based upon his or her medical inability to perform the job, the answer is often: We are not a medical facility and we cannot make that determination. But that is normally not the underlying, driving reason. It is more often than not because agencies have a single-track mind to act in a self-determined manner. Ultimately, however, when one files for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, while a removal based upon one’s “medical inability to perform one’s job” is the most “helpful”, other forms of removals can actually enhance the Federal Disability Retirement application, by focusing upon the fact that the negative performance indicators can only be explained by the parallel medical conditions which were clearly impacting the employee. Sometimes, that takes a little more effort — such effort which the Agency failed or refused to engage in.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire