Modified Schedule Fulfils ADA Accommodation Requirements

After two years of employment with the US Postal Service’s maintenance department, Marc Allen was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis which caused severe pain in his feet. His doctor recommended “1-hour standing followed by 1 hour of rest; no driving; no cutting grass; and no carrying a vacuum.” A local union representative suggested Allen request a “light duty” assignment, which he did. Because he had been employed less than five years, he had to renew his request periodically.

Following his third request, the District Reasonable Accommodation Committee conducted a formal review. Allen did not provide additional information on what “light duty” assignments he could complete during his 1 hour of rest as the committee requested. In response, the committee agreed Allen could alternate 1 hour of work and 1 hour of rest, but he had to clock out for each hour of rest effectively reducing his work and pay to part-time. Allen filed suit. The district court granted summary judgment for the Postal Service. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. Legally, accommodations do not have to be the employee’s preferred accommodation and may include part-time or modified work schedules. Read the full opinion here.