Q. We have an employee returning from a leave taken under the
A. Under the original , you would be out of luck, as you were limited in your ability to deal with this situation. However, under the regulations that take effect Jan. 16, you have more options.
If you have a uniform policy requiring all employees in the same job classification who have the same serious health condition—for example, a back injury—to have a fitness-for-duty certification before returning to work, you can now require that it address whether they can perform the essential functions of their jobs.
In order to obtain this benefit, you have to advise the employee in the required notice of designation of . You must also provide at that time a list of the essential job functions.
However, if that physician certifies that the employee can safely perform the essential functions of the job, just like under the old regulations, you cannot ask for a second opinion.
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