When essential duties are at issue, OK to base medical exam on FMLA certification

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

The ADA prohibits employers from requiring many types of medical exams, but does allow exams based on business necessity.

That includes mental examinations when an employee exhibits odd or otherwise troubling behavior. For example, employees in highly stressful professions may have to show they are mentally fit for the job.

Now a new 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case allows employers to use an employee’s FMLA certification as the basis for requesting a fitness-for-duty exam if the certification asserts that the employee can’t perform an essential function of her job.

That’s especially true in high-pressure professions when an alleged FMLA serious health condition affects an employee’s ability to function while at work.

Recent case: Charlene Wisbey worked as an emergency dispatcher, receiving emergency calls and arranging for appropriate responses. Her job description included the requirement that dispatchers “function accura...(register to read more)

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