For a variety of reasons, an employee may become temporarily or permanently psychologically impaired. The capacity to function at work is what we refer to as ‘fitness for duty”. The employee may need treatment and/or sufficient time from his/her job to enable recovery or determination whether the psychological impairment is a permanent disability.
It is often the severity of the psychological impairment, not the specific diagnosis, that determines the employee’s inability to work, or fitness for duty. A depressed employee may be quite capable of managing the job assignment, but with severity of depression can come an inability to function in both social and occupational settings.
Fitness for Duty evaluations are also requested when an employee’s behavior is disruptive to coworkers in the work environment. It is important to remember that although the evaluation has been requested by the employer, this examination provides an opportunity for the employee to share their insights and experiences.
An angry verbal outburst at work can well lead to a Fitness for Duty evaluation, in which the primary question is whether this person is at risk of harming self or others.
Dr. Adams has provided fitness-for-duty examinations to police, fire and other first responder employees. He has provided similar services to educational systems (boards of education), professional practices, and both small and large companies.