Time and time again an issue comes up as to whether or not a Federal Employee has provided adequate medical Documentation in conjunction with that employees request for reasonable accommodation. I regularly have employees tell me that they are not going to provide the agency with more medical evidence or new medical evidence for the following reasons:
1. “I have already provided the agency with enough medical evidence why do I have to provide them with more?”
2. “My medical information is personal and private I do not want my supervisor or my co-workers to know about my private medical information!”
3. “My condition is open and obvious, can”t my supervisor see that I need a wheelchair, why do I have to provide them with my medical information.”
4. “I hate my supervisor and she is trying to harass me, I am not giving her any information about my medical condition.”
5. “I have other unrelated medical issues and its none of the agency”s business.”
Some of these reasons are valid and some of them are not valid. The next few blog posts will flesh out when the agency is allowed to request medical evidence and when they cannot.
Before we get started lets analyze what type of information the employee must submit in order to be justified in his or her request for accommodations, the employees must provide information that shows:
- A limitation in a major life activity, unless the condition is observable.
- That the employee is a qualified employee with a disability who is entitled to an accommodation.
- What accommodation is needed.
In Hoang v. U.S. Postal Service, 113 LRP 18555 , EEOC No. 0120130454 (EEOC OFO 2013), the Commission stated that agencies can seek documentation where it is necessary to determine that the individual has a covered disability for which the required accommodation is necessary. The next few blogs will parse these requirements out and help answer what to reply to the 5 questions above. If your agency is requesting medical evidence from you and you believe it violates your rights it helps to contact a federal employee reasonable accommodation attorney.
Federal employee attorney Eric Pines provides comprehensive legal representation that solely focuses on the needs of federal employees. Visit his website at www.pinesfederal.com for more information about him and his nationwide legal services for federal employees.