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Federal Employees May Request Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation

Federal Employees May Request Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation

We Represent Federal Employees

Many federal employees struggling with medical crises or illnesses don’t know there are various types of leave available to them as reasonable accommodation. As a result, they continue to work and experience a decline in performance, productivity, etc. due to their condition, which can ultimately lead to unemployment. It is usually at this point that federal employees reach out to us at Pines Federal; however, we are also here to help you from the beginning.

If you are a federal employee with a serious medical condition that may require leave of some sort, connect with a member of our team today and allow us to help you protect your job and your health.

Call (888) 898-9902 today to speak to a federal employment law attorney.

Federal Employee Disability Retirement

A mere leave of absence may not benefit federal employees who are sick or disabled to the point that they are permanently inhibited from providing useful, efficient service in their current role. It may be more appropriate for such workers to seek federal employee disability retirement, which must be done through the Office of Personnel Management.

Be advised that this is not always the best move for workers whose condition currently prevents the fulfillment of job-related duties, since receiving disability retirement bars workers from returning to their position after a period of recovery.

Requesting Leave Due to Illness or Injury

Leave may be more suitable for federal employees who expect to recover and regain the ability to work. Requesting leave brings up important questions for federal workers and their employers, such as:

  • How much leave must a federal agency provide?
  • At what point does extended or repeated leave merit disciplinary action?
  • Under what circumstances may a request (or requests) for leave lead to termination?

For employees who are requesting leave, the answers to all of the above typically depend on the manner in which such requests are made. There are many federal laws and agency regulations that exist to protect sick or disabled government workers, and these may help such employees obtain the necessary time off without experiencing negative consequences, such as demotion or job loss.

Leave as an Effective Accommodation

Employees who meet the criteria for disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (also known as the Americans with Disabilities Act) may be able to protect their federal job by requesting leave as reasonable accommodation. This requires an employee to demonstrate that the requested leave would be an effective and reasonable accommodation, at which point the related government agency must allow it. However, the government agency in question may sometimes deny leave if there is another accommodation that would be equally effective and reasonable or if allowing said leave would cause undue hardship.

Family Medical Leave Act

Federal employees may also request leave as reasonable accommodation under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as long as they suffer from a health issue that meets the criteria outlined in 29 USC 2611. Employees who request accommodation and leave under the FMLA protect themselves from termination by their employer for up to 12 weeks on unpaid leave over a 1-year period. If you wish to keep your federal government job but are sick, disabled, or may otherwise benefit from dedicated recovery time, be advised that requesting leave and reasonable accommodation under the FMLA can protect you from losing your job.

For more information regarding your options as a federal employee seeking leave and reasonable accommodation, call Pines Federal at (888) 898-9902 today.

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