Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Does a Fit for Duty exam expedite workers’ compensation?

Employers can reduce the time involved in resolving workers’ compensation claims by administering a Fitness for Duty test to injured employees to make sure that they are capable of performing the essential tasks of their job.

When is a Fit for Duty examination conducted?

As an employer, you may ask injured employees to undergo a Fit for Duty examination if you reasonably believe that their condition might:

  • If They are unable to perform their necessary job duties.
  • Attempt to harm their own safety or the safety of other employees.

As per the American Disabilities Act, employers can administer Fit for Duty Tests to their employees under the following circumstances:

  • During a company-sponsored event, employees participate in voluntary testing.
  • Scheduled check-ups are performed at regular intervals to determine a worker’s fitness level as part of the company policy.
  • Getting back to work after a disability or injury.

Do you know the purpose of a fitness for duty test?

The results can help an employee identify the extent of an injury, if he or she is exaggerating symptoms to gain an advantage, and also help them determine if they are fit to return to work. It minimizes the chances of further damage and creates a safer work environment with reduced costs.

Fit for Duty testing is used to evaluate an individual prior to beginning a job, to ascertain if they have any existing issues that may increase the risk of injury or reduce their capacity to perform essential job functions.

This information can also be used to create a comparison with post-injury data in order to determine the specific damage caused by an injury, saving thousands of dollars in compensation and also moving along claims faster.

Fit for Duty testing allows employers to determine whether an injured employee returning to the worksite can safely perform their job. Employers may also use Fit for Duty testing at a pre-hiring stage to assess functional performance at the outset, with the goal of maximizing workers’ health and safety and reducing workers’ comp claims.

Why and when Fitness For Duty Certification Required

When an employee is ready to return to work after being on leave due to their own health condition, employer can require that they submit a medical certification form to us showing that they are physically able to return to work.

  • In general, it is not necessary to enforce the “fitness-for-duty” certification requirements if they are part of a uniform policy that applies to each individual employee with the same serious health condition.
  • You have to have a fitness-for-duty certification that is job-related and appropriate to the work you do under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 
  • Employees are responsible for the cost of certification, and employers are not required to reimburse employees for time or travel costs related to certification.
  • When the designation notice is sent to the employee at the beginning of the leave, it must state the fitness-for-duty requirement.

PCP Works can help you reduce costs, expedite workers’ comp claim resolution, and ensure a safe working environment.