EEOC rules in favor of Agency finding employee was not a qualified individual with a disability. Complainant filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability (pregnancy-related back injury). After the EEO investigation, Complainant requested a hearing. Following a hearing an Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision finding Complainant failed to prove that she was subjected to discrimination as alleged. In his decision, the AJ stated that Complainant failed to establish she was an individual with a disability because her impairment did not substantially limit any major life activity and was not permanent. Complainant appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) Office of Federal Operations (OFO) arguing the Agency regarded her as an individual with a disability and that she was entitled to reassignment as a form of accommodation.
On appeal, the OFO began its analysis assuming the Complainant was an individual with a disability, but because she could not perform the essential functions of her job and failed to provide any evidence regarding potential vacancies for which she was qualified, she failed to establish that she was a “qualified” individual with a disability. The OFO further noted that the Agency is not required to create a job for a disabled employee, nor is it required to transform its temporary light or limited duty positions into permanent jobs to accommodate a disability. Finally, the OFO held that the Agency asking Complainant for medical documentation in support of her request for light duty was job-related and consistent with business necessity and therefore proper. The OFO affirmed the Agency’s final decision finding no discrimination.
McKinnon v. United States Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 01200632261 (April 17, 2008) https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/decisions/0120063226.txt