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 worked for a federal agency for about 14 years and am currently a GS-7. My performance has declined due to medical issues. I was just diagnosed with a disability which has become worse due to physical and emotional stressors.
Management wants me to sign a form saying that I request a move for personal reasons to the mail room at a GS-4-10. If I don’t sign it, they will place me at a GS-4-1, which is about half my current pay.
Can they move me to a lower pay since I now have a disability? If they did, could I retain pay? Would this mean I would be eligible to apply for early disability retirement since I was not placed at the same rate and pay?
If you are demoted, you can apply for disability retirement. You may also be entitled to a reasonable accommodation because of your disability. You should use your agency’s reasonable accommodation process. If the accommodation is denied, you can pursue an EEO complaint.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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