The quality and characteristic of “stubbornness” encompasses a refusal to be persuaded by logic, reason, or any other similarly acceptable criteria of linguistic methodology normally employed in discourse, conversation or discussion on a matter. Federal Agencies and the U.S. Postal Service are both equally notorious for retaining, maintaining and adhering to such a characteristic, and that is true in circumstances involving termination, medical disability, and agency actions governing administrative actions and sanctions, whether neutral or punitive.
Often, because a Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition will need to begin the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, a parallel set of circumstances begins to develop — more absences; more need to file paperwork requesting leave, whether Sick Leave, Annual Leave or Leave without Pay; and the concurrent events which begin to coalesce involve the conflicting needs of the Federal or Postal employee and the requirements of the Agency to continue to meet and accomplish the goals of Federal Service.
The result is often one of adversarial clashing: a removal action by the Agency; potential loss of Health benefits (more often than not temporary, but nevertheless of concern) for the Federal or Postal employee; a rush to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; a sense of “emergency”; a stubbornness on the part of the Agency in its adherence to remove the Federal or Postal employee once its heels have been “dug in”.
It is important to try and address such issues and attempt to head them off in as predictable a fashion as possible. However, when such a clash between Agency interests and Federal or Postal employee needs come to an inevitable confrontation, it is important to at least establish a “paper trail” for future use. Annotating the facts is an important tool to utilize — in shorthand, it is called “evidence“.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire