An employer may ask an employee to undergo a fitness for duty examination and evaluation if he or she has concerns about the employee’s ability to safely perform their job. Evaluations may cover physical abilities, but employers can also ask for mental health evaluations to find out if an employee has any psychological impairments which might prevent them from performing their job safely and effectively.
We will look at the following to better understand what an evaluation of fitness for duty is:
- There are various circumstances in which fitness for duty must be assessed
- Consent obtained from an employee should be informed and written
- What’s in the evaluation report
- Recommendations from evaluators
- Employers need to take certain steps to implement FFD evaluations at work
What are the circumstances that might trigger a fitness-for-duty evaluation?
Employees who are not able to perform their duties well may be asked by their employer to undergo a fitness for duty evaluation. The evaluation can be medical or psychological, and its purpose is to determine whether the employee’s health or condition would interfere with his or her ability to do the job well. Here’s you can know how an FFD evaluation works:
- If an employee feels that another employee is unable to safely and effectively perform their job because of a psychological or medical condition.
- When an employer believes a job applicant’s current medical or psychological condition may pose a danger to them, their co-workers, customers, or even society as a whole
- After taking FMLA leave for their own illness, employee returns to work
When an employer observes an employee performing poorly at work, engaging in unsafe behavior, or acting in an unsafe manner, they may require the employee to undergo a fitness for duty assessment. Or, if the employee tells the employer of any medical conditions that may impact their work, the employer may make such a recommendation.
You will want to make sure that you get your FFD evaluated as quickly as possible, so that you do not run the risk of falling behind. While there are no specific state or federal laws mandating the deadlines for an FFD evaluation, employers typically look at getting it done as soon as possible.
What Does The Evaluation Report Contain?
A detailed written report will be provided to you after the evaluation process ends, outlining the initial rationale for your employee’s assessment, the techniques used in the evaluation, and their honest opinion of whether your employee is ready to return to work. The content of the report is guided by the terms of your employee’s authorization and informed consent, any set evaluation procedures (usually based on company guidelines) and relevant employment laws.
According to the report, the employee is either:
- Ability to perform duties without restrictions
- Suitably qualified, but with a few restrictions or modifications
- Ineligible for duty
Specific information should be included in the evaluation report, including:
- Provide a list of limitations/functional impairments related to the employee’s job
- What the chances are and what the approximate timeline is for a return to unrestricted duty
- Other interventions or accommodations that may be recommended for work
One important part of understanding your fitness for duty evaluation is knowing what information is included in it. This information depends on what the employer expects and, to some extent, on what you consent to provide.
The Implementation Checklist For Employers
You should establish a policy governing medical and psychological fitness for duty evaluations for your company. Once you have the policy in place, you must ask yourself if it addresses both physical and non-psychological fitness for duty evaluations if it requires fitness for duty evaluations as a condition for the return to work, and what it covers in terms of scope, associated rights, procedures and employee obligations. A clear policy ensures that all evaluations done are performed as per employment laws and with strict adherence to standard evaluation policies. As always, please check with your council for the latest rules and regulations.
Do you want to know where you can get the best fit for duty testing and evaluation for your Employees? then contact PCPWorks. They will help you screen your employees and determine their physical capabilities.