Erratic employee veering toward violence? Request fitness-for-duty exam, fire if he refuses

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Sometimes, it becomes clear to a supervisor that an employee is acting strangely. The employee may be cranky, argumentative and unpleasant to co-workers and supervisors. He may register repeated complaints about discrimination or other ill treatment. And he may make threatening comments.

If that happens, play it smart. Require the employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty medical examination based on those perceived threats.

One of three things could happen. He could submit to the examination and be declared fit for duty. Or he may be deemed unfit, opening up the possibility that he will request medical leave or perhaps some form of accommodation.

But it is also possible that he won’t cooperate at all. That’s grounds for termination—as long as that is how you normally treat all employees who refuse to take a fitness exam.

Recent case: Alvin, who is black, worked as a transportation planner for Cumberland County. He filed an 80-...(register to read more)

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