The exclusivity of a right or privilege can remain dormant until asserted; and assertion triggers and activates, and suddenly that which consisted merely of quietude and inertia, becomes the centrality of controversy, contention and adversarial encounter. Much of life is like that; resembling the proverbial elephant in the sitting room, or the decaying clump of unidentified derivation of unseemly scents, people tend to avoid and take a wide berth while acting “as if” throughout the day, the week, a year, and in a lifetime.
In olden days of yore, the “prerogative” was retained by the King, the Crown and the Papacy to assert or not, depending often upon the whims of emotional and political turmoil. The fact of inactivity or inertia with respect to the right or privilege did not result in the loss of it; rather, it merely meant that the non-use of power only magnified the unlimited potentiality for tyranny. One doesn’t lose something merely because it isn’t used; unless, of course, you are a common man or woman without power or purpose.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have been “allowed” by one’s agency or the U.S. Postal Service to continue to remain in one’s position at the “prerogative” of the agency or the U.S. Postal Service, by being retained in some capacity of “light duty” or informal arrangement of “less-than-full-duty” status, the attitude and atmosphere can be likened to the Royal Family allowing and granting a limited dispensation at the mercy of the Crown, and always with humble subservience of gratitude and metaphorical acts of low-bowing.
While it is dangerous to be indebted to someone else for too much, the greater travail is to believe that one owes something of value when in fact no such indebtedness ever existed.
For Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the fact that the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service “says” that it is “accommodating” the Federal or Postal employee, does not necessarily make it so.
The prerogative to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, always remains and is retained by the Federal or Postal employee, even throughout a circumstance and situation where the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service contends that the Federal or Postal employee is being “accommodated”. For, the term itself is one of art, and “accommodation” — in order to be a legally viable accommodation — must meet certain standards and rise to a level of legal sufficiency.
The mere fact that the Federal agency on High says it is so, no longer applies; for, despite its claim to greater status of Royalty, the days of uncontested power through mere lineage no longer exists, except perhaps in the feeble minds of the commoner who treads the hallways of Federal agencies and U.S. Post Offices with fear, trembling, and humble subservience.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire