EEOC finds Agency did not discriminate as it provided a reasonable accommodation. Complainant filed a formal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability (knee injury) when her supervisor put her off the clock and she was denied light duty. Following the initial investigation, the Complainant did not request a hearing and the Agency issued its Final Agency Decision (FAD). In the FAD, the Agency found that Complainant had failed to establish a prima facie case of disability because she was unable to demonstrate that she was an individual with a disability as defined by the Rehabilitation Act as she had not shown that she was substantially limited in a major life activity or that there was a record of her having such a disability. The FAD further stated that assuming the Complainant had established a prima facie case, she had failed to establish that the legitimate nondiscriminatory reason articulated by the agency for its decision was a pretext for discrimination. The Complainant appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) Office of Federal Operations (OFO).
On appeal, the OFO noted that the record supported the Complainant’s claim of having a disability through her physician’s notes and the fact that she walked with a claim. The OFO also found that the Complainant was a qualified individual with a disability as she was able to perform her duties with an accommodation. However, because the Complainant had not properly requested a reasonable accommodation in the form of light duty by submitting a written request form with supporting medical documentation, she was denied light duty and put off the clock. Once she submitted the appropriate documentation she was provided with her accommodations. The OFO held that she was not discriminated against based on her disability because once the Agency received the documentation they granted her reasonable accommodation. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s FAD.
Tucker v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 01985638 (August 25, 2000) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/01985638.txt