Personnel Policy Manual

<<  Appendix W: Fitness for Duty Policy  >>

  1. Introduction
  2. Employee Responsibilities
  3. Fitness for Duty Examinations
  4. Procedures

  1. Introduction

    The University is committed to maintaining a safe and productive academic workplace, and it therefore requires that every employee report to work fit to perform his or her job. For purpose of this policy, “fitness for duty” refers to the readiness of an employee to perform the essential functions of the job. This policy also addresses the circumstances under which the University may require a fitness for duty examination and the applicable process pertaining to such examinations.

    This policy does not limit the University’s right to take employment action, and application of this policy is not a substitute for discipline. In circumstances where an employee has engaged in misconduct or failed to perform his/her duties, disciplinary action up to and including discharge may be imposed notwithstanding a referral for a fitness for duty examination.

    The University is committed to equal employment opportunity, and it prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. This policy is to be construed consistent with that commitment and in compliance with applicable law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.


  2. Employee Responsibilities

    All employees are required to report to work fit for duty and to be able to perform their job duties in a safe, appropriate, and effective manner.

    The University encourages employees to voluntarily seek assistance for emotional and/or personal problems, physical and/or mental health conditions, including controlled substance, drug and alcohol abuse/addictions, before their work performance is adversely affected. The Faculty Staff and Assistance Program (FASAP) offers assistance to employees on a confidential basis.


  3. Fitness for Duty Examinations
    1. Introduction

      A fitness for duty examination constitutes a medical examination and therefore, in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act and University policy, any such examination is strictly limited to job-related inquiries and must be consistent with business necessity. Any such inquiry must be made with reference to the actual job duties of the individual who is to be examined. Any decision with respect to fitness must be made with consideration of whether the employee can perform the job duties with restrictions. When the identified condition constitutes a disability and the employee asks for an accommodation, which might be the restriction, the employee should be informed of the Disability and Accommodation Determination Process and that process should be implemented. It may be necessary to collect additional documentation from the employee and his/her own healthcare provider to support the accommodation request or there may already be enough documentation to support that request.

    2. Grounds for Seeking a Fitness for Duty Examination

      The referring manager or supervisor may request a medical fitness for duty evaluation when (1) an employee's conduct creates a reasonable belief that a threat to the health or safety of the employee or others, or to University property, exists; or (2) there is objective evidence that the employee cannot perform the essential job functions. Managers should consult with the divisional human resources office and Occupational Health Services (OHS), or FASAP prior to making a referral for an examination.

      The grounds for seeking a fitness for duty evaluation may become evident from a manager’s observations and/or receipt of a reliable report of an employee's possible lack of fitness for duty. Observations or employee self-report may include, but are not limited to difficulties with manual dexterity, memory, coordination, alertness, speech, vision acuity, concentration, response to criticism, interactions with co-workers and supervisors, outbursts, hostility, violent behavior, suicidal or threatening statements, change in personal hygiene, and/or reasonable suspicion (via odor or observation) of drug or alcohol use.

      An employee’s medical fitness may also be evaluated in other contexts, including as a result of any required post-offer, pre-employment medical screen or as required after a leave of absence.

    3. Medical Evaluation

      Fitness for duty evaluations are performed by or at the direction of OHS, and may include, without limitation, a health history, physical and/or psychological examination, alcohol and drug testing and any medically indicated diagnostic studies. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the employee can perform the essential functions in a safe manner and if there is a need for restrictions. As circumstances warrant, OHS will arrange for an evaluation by a FASAP clinician to determine whether there is a psychological impairment. In addition, if it appears that the condition is a disability, OHS will refer the employee to disability services to address any requested accommodations/modifications and whether there is a likelihood that the employee can perform the job with or without reasonable accommodations.

    4. Confidentiality

      Patient information obtained by OHS and/or FASAP is maintained on a confidential basis in accordance with applicable law. When conducting a mandated fitness for duty evaluation, OHS and/or FASAP will require the employee to sign appropriate consent forms that permit appropriate reporting as to the employee’s fitness, recommendations with respect to fitness, and any limitations and restrictions placed on the employee arising from the employee’s health condition. OHS and/or FASAP will not disclose information about any health condition of the employee to each other or otherwise, or other medical or psychological information without the consent of the employee or except as may be required by law.

      Condition of Employment (COE) referrals to OHS and/or FASAP will be handled in accordance with the JHU COE policy language.


  4. IV. Procedures
    1. Procedures for the Fitness of Duty Policy

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