Light Duty and Reasonable Accommodation Consideration

Light Duty: Is There Any Kind Of Reasonable Accommodation For It

According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is a law about Disability Discrimination where any disabled person should not be treated unfavorably in any circumstances at the workplace. Under the current federal law, an employer should provide a reasonable accommodation to those disabled employees and job applicants, except for when doing so would be under the undue hardship situation. This would help any job applying candidate or already hired employees perform the regular duties of a job, getting a predefined benefits and applying for a job.

However, issue could arises in many different situations. For ex, when it comes to federal disability, light duty isn’t always a reasonable accommodation.

For disability retirement eligibility under the Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees Retirement System, the agency will need to confirm that it has not been able to deal with your incapacitating medical condition in your current position and has considered you for open positions in the same sector and with the same pay grade.

There are many instances where the agency will try to alter the position or duties of an employee but comes up short of actually being an accommodation.

What Is and Is Not A Reasonable Accommodation?

Here’s what you need to understand about reasonable accommodation and your employer:

- If he/she provides you with light duty, a reduced duty or makeshift position (or any other makeshift arrangement), this is actually, by law, not reasonable accommodations.
- What is a reasonable accommodation is a “reasonable adjustment” made to the workplace or job of the employee.

Thus, you can still fulfill your duties in your actual position – not one related with lighter duties.

So, what are the reasonable accommodations?

1 – Changes made to your schedule while carrying out the same duties
2 – New equipment that makes it easier for you to carry out your duties

Any ad hoc duties that include transfers from driver to answering phones are not a reasonable accommodation.

According to, some agencies that apply for light duties might erode your rights.  Postal commissioners have realized that permanently injured or ill workers could lose a few rights when they ask for light duty under Article 13. said too often when an employee asks for a request for permanent light duty, they are subjected to a removal action for failing to carry out the duties of their position.

20 Milwaukee Post Officer workers were recently laid off after they requested light duty for a number of disabilities. The letters stated there was no kind of work available for the restrictions they had.

If you are unsure if your permanent injury or illness is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Rehabilitation Act, be sure to talk with a federal disability discrimination employment lawyer.

With the recent changes in the federal law, federal employees are finding they are having an easier time qualifying as disabled as stipulated in the Rehabilitation Act.