Q & A Session – Termination after Request for Reasonable Accommodations


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have a targeted disability and qualified for Schedule A. I was terminated for poor performance from an entry level position during my probationary period after I asked for reasonable accommodations that would have helped my performance, but never received any.

What are my options?


The issue in your case is whether the poor performance conclusion of your supervisors renders you unable to perform the essential functions of your job. If so, then you are not entitled to a reasonable accommodation. But, based on your description, I’m not sure that you are actually unable to perform your job’s essential functions with or without an accommodation. It is also unclear whether your conversion from competitive service to Schedule A had an impact on the important “essential functions” issue. If you are still within the 45-day window from the effective date of your separation, you might want to test this in the EEO process.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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