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The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that Federal Employees requesting reasonable accommodation be “Qualified” to do their jobs before entitlement to a reasonableaccommodation.

What does it mean to be a Qualified Employee under the ADA? Practically it means that an employee must be able to do the essential functions of their job with or without an accommodation.

For example, we recently had a client who requested extended FMLA/ LWOP in order to recover from their cancer. The Veterans Administration requested that they provide a date upon which they would return. The employee needed to provide this date in order to qualify for the accommodation. The main reason for this need is because if an employee does not return to work then they will not be performing the essential functions of their job and hence they will not qualify to protected under the Rehabilitation Act/ADA.

This is something to think about before requesting extended leave as a reasonable accommodation. If you find yourself in need of a Federal Employee Attorney, it would be our pleasure to assist you at Pines Federal Employment Attorneys.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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