By Peter Casciano, Esq.
Federal Disability Retirement cases can be won or lost depending on the issue of whether an employee is able to be “reasonably accommodated.” One such accommodation can be permitting the employee to work from home, or telework.
The federal government is actually in the process of encouraging more and more current employees to telework. In fact, the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) website specifically links to telework.gov, which provides guidance to employees and employers regarding all aspects of teleworking.
Teleworking as a Reasonable Accommodation for Federal Employees
Potential federal disability retirement claimants should be careful if their doctors have ever indicated that telework was an appropriate accommodation. In fact, even if the employee’s previous request for telework was denied by the agency, it’s important to note that we are seeing those decisions reversed more and more as employees are ultimately allowed to work from home.
Also, your doctors should be aware that any reasonable accommodation that they recommend should be tailored to the symptoms and limitations of your illness or injury. More specifically, they must think of the recommended reasonable accommodation as something absolutely necessary for you to keep doing your job, not just something that would make life easier.
If you are considering retiring from the federal government due to a medical condition or if you believe that a reasonable accommodation, like teleworking, is appropriate to your situation, please consult a federal disability attorney today.