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Return To Work / Fit for Duty

Question:

We have an employee out on family medical leave (FMLA) for a serious health condition. If he provides medical certification from his physician that he can return to work with no limitations, can we require the employee to submit to further examination to see if he is fit for duty under the ADA? The employee is not claiming any disability and has requested no consideration under ADA, but we believe he might be unable to perform the job duties.

Answer:

Although the employee has provided medical certification that he is fit to return to work with no limitations, employers can request 2nd and 3rd opinions on FMLA issues.  Generally, we recommend that employers require everyone returning from FMLA to have an employer paid fit for duty physical by occupational health. To accomplish this, you would provide a job description to the physician and they physician reviews the employee based on the job requirements. From there you could pursue the ADA issue if necessary, but don’t be premature since no disability has been claimed yet.

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