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
- 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
- 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.