For whatever reasons, Federal Agencies rarely accommodate an individual who has a medical condition which impacts one or more of the essential elements of one’s job. Whether the Supervisor is too busy to craft a viable accommodation plan, or whether the Agency is simply following the standard thoughtless response of the Federal Sector in general, the truth is that Agencies rarely, if ever, provide a truly viable, legally defined accommodation. I receive calls every day from Federal and Postal employees who will state that the Agency is currently “accommodating” him/her; upon closer questioning, however, it always turns out that the term “accommodation” is being used in a non-artful, general sense, as in: The Agency is letting me take LWOP; the agency is letting me take sick leave; the agency is letting me not travel too much; the agency is letting me… What the agency is doing, whatever it is, is to temporarily keep you around until they decide your services are no longer needed. That may be just around the corner, or you may be forgotten for some considerable amount of time. Regardless, don’t be fooled; agencies rarely accommodate, and it is most likely the case that whatever “accommodations” the Federal or Postal employee believes that the Agency is providing, it does not fall under the legal definition of the term.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire