If an employee’s physician writes that the employee cannot work due to a “permanent disability,” this would seem to be a sufficient basis for the employer to remove the employee from the workplace. In the recent case of Wishkin v. Potter, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that such a representation would not necessarily be enough to prompt the employer’s action.

Richard Wishkin is a mentally disabled man who began his employment with the U.S. Postal Service in 1969. In 1983, he suffered a work-related injury that resulted in him being limited to a 20-pound lifting restriction.