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Assessing Fitness for Duty

In order to provide a safe workplace, employees must be able to perform the essential duties of their jobs in a safe, secure, productive, and effective manner, without presenting a safety hazard to themselves, other employees, the university, or the public. If employees are impaired in some way that affects their work, they may be unfit for duty, and you should call the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a same-day phone consultation. Use the following resources to learn how to initiate any needed interventions, and refer to the university's policy on fitness for duty for more information.

Signs that an Employee may be Unfit for Duty

Depending on employees' job duties, the things that make them impaired and unable to work safely may vary. For example, diminished motor skills would make it unsafe for someone to operate heavy machinery but wouldn't make it unsafe for someone to do clerical work, and increasingly inappropriate interactions with people would make someone's customer service job ineffective whereas it would have less effect on the productivity of someone who works alone in an office all day. Taking this into consideration, the following signs may be indicators that an employee is not fit for duty:

  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Severe trembling
  • Notable problems with coordination
  • Markedly diminished memory or concentration
  • Very inappropriate interactions with coworkers
  • Suicidal or threatening statements

Initiating a Fitness for Duty Intervention

If you observe a situation in which employees are impaired in some way that may pose a safety hazard in the workplace, you may contact the EAP for assistance in initiating a fitness for duty intervention. The EAP can then assist you in completing the following two forms:

The above forms will be prepared to include a description of the problematic behavior, and you will give the employee the notification form.  The EAP counselor or HealthPoint employee will then determine an appropriate medical provider to assess the employee to complete the certification form.  We will then provide the certification form to the health care provider, and the provider will assess the employee and fax the completed form back to HealthPoint.  The EAP counselor will then communicate with you regarding the employee’s return to work. To initiate a fitness for duty intervention, contact the EAP at 512-471-3366. In the event of an immediate, life-threatening crisis, call 911. For non-crisis urgent matters after-hours, call 512-471-3399.