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  • Reasonable Accommodation

Medical/Disability Issues

When requesting medical documentation under 5 CFR 339.302, it is important that you as a manager/ supervisor fully understand the limitations on that authority. The agency must have a legitimate need for requesting the medical documentation from an employee or applicant. This request is appropriate in any situation where the supervisor needs medical documentation or needs more information than was provided, in order to make an informed employment decision.

  • Acceptable medical documentation regarding an employee’s medical or physical condition can assist a supervisor in determining the following:
    • If the employee raises an issue that he/she is physically unable to perform some or all of the duties of the job;
    • If there is a disabling condition;
    • How to accommodate an employee’s disabling condition;
    • If there is light duty work an employee is physically capable of performing while recovering from an injury;
    • Whether a job can be offered to a worker’s compensation claimant after he/she has partially recovered from an on-the-job injury; when an employee fully recovers from an on-the-job injury and can be directed to return to work;
    • Whether an employee meets the physical requirements or physical qualifications of a position;
    • Whether to proceed with conduct or performance action, knowing there is not anything more you can reasonably do to accommodate an employee’s disabling condition; or
    • To determine if an employee legitimately has a have medical condition which requires them to take leave on a regular and recurring basis.
  • As supervisors, it is important to recognize that all employees need the tools necessary to be productive. Sometimes, employees may need simple adjustments at work in order to help them perform at their best. For employees with disabilities, these changes and adjustments are often critical to their success.
  • Providing a reasonable accommodation is simply a way of providing qualified employees with disabilities the tools needed to perform at their best.
  • Reasonable accommodation is an integral part of the Coast Guard’s continued effort to take action to prevent discrimination against employees and applicants with disabilities and to consider accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities.
  • Command Staff Advisors (CSA) and Human Resources (HR) Specialists share the responsibility along with the Civil Rights Directorate, for providing step-by-step guidance and advice to managers and supervisors in identifying and processing reasonable accommodation requests in accordance COMDTINST M5350.4C Coast Guard Civil Rights Manual.

More detailed information may be accessed on the Equal Employment Opportunity website concerning disabilities in the workplace. Contact your servicing HR Specialist or Command Staff Advisor for guidance and assistance as it pertains to requesting acceptable medical documentation.