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Can we require psychological counseling?

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Q. Can we require an employee to receive psychological counseling or treatment if his behavior has become a hindrance to his job performance?

Employers may require mandatory referral to the company’s employee assistance plan (EAP) for job performance issues, as long as the referral is job-related and consistent with business necessity.

For example, if you observe a sudden change in performance or conduct, you may require an employee to seek the services of an EAP or to undergo a medical or psychological examination.

You should not require the employee to undergo treatment. However, if a physician concludes that the employee is unable to perform essential job functions or poses a direct threat to safety, then you can require the employee to be certified as “fit for duty” in order to continue working for you.

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