Upon returning from FMLA leave I would like my employee to pass a fitness-for-duty test before I restore him to his job. Is this allowed?
Yes, but not without restriction.
First, you must notify the employee in writing at the time you provide him with the Designation (of FMLA leave) Notice. You can do this by completing the Designation Notice and marking the area appropriate on the DOL’s recommended form. If you failed to notify him on the Designation Notice you can orally notify him no later than the time that the Designation Notice is provided (or due), but that only works if you have a policy or handbook that has already notified the employee (in writing) that he will be subject to a fitness-for-duty examination if he seeks FMLA.
Second, the inquiry made through a fitness-for-duty examination must either be limited to just the medical issue that put the person on FMLA in the first place or merely seek a certification that the employee can perform the essential functions of the job.
Third, if the employee’s leave is intermittent in nature you are limited to the number of times, and timing, that you can seek a fitness-for-duty certification.
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