The Federal Government Sets the Standard for Treatment of Disabled Employees
The United States Federal Government has made its intent to be the country’s model employer very clear in Section 10(c) of the Rehabilitation Act 29 CFR 1614.203 (specifically titled “Model Employer”), which says:
“The Federal Government shall be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. Agencies shall give full consideration to the hiring, advancement, and retention of qualified individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce. Agencies shall also take affirmative action to promote the recruitment, hiring, and advancement of qualified individuals with disabilities, with the goal of eliminating under-representation of individuals with disabilities in the federal workforce.”
Even with the current state of federal employee rights, the Federal Government actually continues to set the standard for hiring, protecting, and accommodating employees with disabilities.
Reasonable Accommodation Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The right to reasonable accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is one of the best reflections of the Federal Government’s willingness to protect employees with disabilities. Federal employees who are qualified to fulfill the demands of their jobs are entitled to any “reasonable accommodation” that may be necessary for them to perform the “essential functions” of their particular roles. (That is, unless the requested accommodations produce undue hardship for the employer or other government workers.)
Pines Federal Represents Federal Employees with Disabilities
At Pines, Federal, we have successfully represented many federal government employees with disabilities. For example, we once represented a client with epilepsy who was employed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The client occasionally suffered seizures and migraines due to the fact that his desk was directly beneath flickering fluorescent lights, and he requested relocation to avoid further pain. However, the Agency declined his request and told him it would not be possible to accommodate his needs in that particular workspace.
With our help and the help of an administrative judge, the Agency was required to build the client a private office within the existing workspace which allowed him to control the lighting and thereby avoid triggering seizures and migraines. As a result, our client has remained a productive, dedicated employee at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for many years.
If you are a federal employee with a disability, we may be able to help protect your rights and fight for reasonable accommodation on your behalf. Connect with one of our federal employment law attorneys right away and allow us to contend for a positive solution in your case.
Call (800) 801-0598 or send us a message today to get started and schedule a consultation.