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In an effort to provide a safe and productive environment conducive to academic and administrative pursuits, Ramapo College of New Jersey may require employees to submit to a “fitness for duty” evaluation if there is reason to believe the individual may not be able to perform the duties of the position. Such an evaluation may be conducted if the employee

  1. Exhibits signs of impairment on the job
  2. Lacks the ability to perform duties
  3. Has been out on a medical leave and requires medical clearance to return to work.
I. Procedure if Evidence of Impairment on the Job

If, by observation of an employee’s behavior or by receipt of credible information regarding the employee’s impairment, the supervisor or unit head determines that the employee demonstrates behaviors that can contribute to poor and unsafe work practices, the following should take place.

  • If the situation requires immediate attention, the supervisor or unit head must notify the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Human Resources will notify Health and Counseling Services and Public Safety as appropriate.
  • The supervisor or unit head should complete the Fitness for Duty Observation Checklist and submit it to HR.
  • HR will notify the employee regarding the necessity of a “fitness for duty evaluation” and schedule the exam with the appropriate health care professional.
  • The results of the exam will be considered confidential information contained within the Department of Human Resources and shared with those who need to know to make a decision.
  • The cost of the exam will be absorbed by the College.
  • If the employee is determined to be unable to drive, he or she should be transported to the medical facility by College personnel.
  • Refusal on the part of the employee to submit to the examination will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • Upon positive determination of the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, the unit head in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources will decide on specific action to be taken depending on the facts of the case.
  • Any action will be compliant with state and federal laws as well as College policies and procedures and contractual provisions.
2. Procedure for Employees Unable to Perform the Duties of the Position

If it has been determined an employee is unable to perform duties of a position, a fitness-for-duty examination may be required. The College may require such an assessment in cases where an employee is unable to perform duties that were previously performed, where there are significant and substantiated student complaints against a faculty or staff member, or where there is other evidence that execution of duties and responsibilities has been compromised. In such a situation, the following should take place.

  • The supervisor or unit head should consult with HR providing detailed documentation regarding the deterioration of performance. Performance appraisal documents, counseling memos, and other relevant employee records will be reviewed.
  • If there is significant evidence to suggest serious performance issues may be due to a physical or mental condition, the Department of Human Resources will arrange for an appropriate medical evaluation and notify the employee.
  • The results of the exam will be considered confidential information contained within the Department of Human Resources and shared with those who need to know in order to make a decision.
  • The cost of the exam will be absorbed by the College.
  • Refusal on the part of the employee to submit to the examination will result in disciplinary action which may be termination.
  • Based on the results of the medical evaluation and recommendation by the attending physician, the unit head in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources will decide on specific action to be taken depending on the facts of the case.
  • Any action will be compliant with state and federal laws as well as College policies and procedures and contractual provisions.
3. Procedure for Employees Returning to Work After Medical Leave

The College requires a fitness-for-duty certification prior to permitting employees to return to work after taking a leave for a serious health condition. The College reserves the right to make additional medical inquiries and/or require follow-up medical examinations to ensure that employees can safely perform all the functions of the job. The cost of the additional medical examination required by the College will be absorbed by the College. All medical information is considered confidential and maintained in HR. Any action will be compliant with state and federal laws as well as College policies and procedures and contractual obligations.

Fitness for Duty Observation Checklist

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