Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Fitness for Duty

MnDOT Policy HR013
View/print signed policy (PDF)

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is committed to providing a safe and productive workplace for its employees and the public. Employees must be able to perform their job duties in a safe, secure, productive, and effective manner, and remain able to do so throughout the entire time they are working. Under certain circumstances, MnDOT may request that a current employee undergo a medical or psychological Fitness for Duty Exam. All Fitness for Duty Exams must be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Reason for policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish the procedures MnDOT will use if the agency has a reasonable belief based upon objective data, that:

  • A current employee’s illness, injury, or medical or psychological condition impairs his/her ability to perform the essential job duties with or without accommodation, or
  • A current employee poses a direct threat to self, other employees, or to the public.

Who needs to know this policy

  • Managers/supervisors
  • Human Resources
  • Affirmative Action
  • All employees

Procedures

Determine the need for a Medical or Psychological Fitness for Duty Exam

If a manager or supervisor has reason to believe that an employee is unable to perform his/her job duties in a safe, secure, productive, and efficient manner, or that an employee poses a direct threat to self, other employees, or the public, the manager or supervisor must contact Central Office Human Resources or the district human resources designee to determine if a medical or psychological Fitness for Duty Exam is appropriate.

  • MnDOT may request that an employee participate in a medical or psychological exam for the purposes of establishing the employee’s fitness for duty when the agency has a reasonable belief based upon objective data that:
    • A current employee’s injury, illness, or medical or psychological condition impairs his/her ability to perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation, or
    • A current employee poses a direct threat to self, other employees, or the public.
  • Central Office Human Resources will discuss the need for a Fitness for Duty Exam with the employee and obtain the employee’s written consent to participate in a Fitness for Duty Exam.

Use of Medical Consultant

  • Central Office Human Resources will contact MnDOT’s medical consultant to determine the time and date for the Fitness for Duty Exam.
  • The employee will meet with MnDOT’s medical consultant who will administer the appropriate Fitness for Duty examination.
  • The medical consultant will provide the Fitness for Duty Exam written results to Central Office Human Resources.
  • MnDOT is responsible for the costs of the Fitness for Duty Exam.

Review of the Medical or Psychological Fitness for Duty Exam Results

  • Central Office Human Resources will review the Fitness for Duty Exam written results from the medical consultant along with other objective data to determine the appropriate action.
  • All medical information and/or private data regarding the employee that is received by MnDOT is subject to the protections of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable federal or state law.
  • As appropriate, consult with Affirmative Action regarding the determination of the need for reason accommodations.

Definitions

Direct Threat

Direct Threat means a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others not eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. The determination that an individual poses a “direct threat” requires an individualized assessment of the individual's present ability to perform the essential functions of the job safely. A reasonable medical judgment relies on the most current medical knowledge and/or on the best available objective evidence. In determining whether an employee will pose a direct threat, consider the following factors:

  • Duration of the risk
  • Nature and severity of the potential harm
  • Likelihood that potential harm will occur
  • Imminence of potential harm

Essential Functions

The essential functions of a job are those duties that are so fundamental to the position that the individual cannot do the job without being able to perform them. A function can be essential if the position:

  • Exists specifically to perform that function;
  • There are a limited number of other employees who could perform the function if it is assigned to them;
  • The function is specialized requiring the employee’s ability to perform that function.

Medical Consultant

The medical consultant is MnDOT’s medical advisor, who is a licensed medical physician and trained as an expert in the field of occupational medicine or psychiatry.

Responsibilities

Manager/Supervisor

Consult with Central Office Human Resources if:

  • An employee’s illness, injury, medical or psychological condition impairs his/her ability to perform the functions of the job in a safe, secure, productive and effective manner.
  • An employee poses a direct threat to self, other employees or the public.

Human Resources

  • Act as MnDOT’s liaison with the medical consultant.
  • Maintain and store medical information received from the Fitness for Duty Exam in a separate, confidential, and secure location.
  • Ensure confidentiality of private data.

Office of Human Resources

In addition to the joint responsibilities listed above:

  • Utilize recruitment and selection measures which are flexible, job-related and consistent with business necessity to ensure consideration of qualified employees with disabilities in recruitment and appointment decisions.
  • Ensure that reasonable accommodation requests received in association with the application, interview, and selection processes are responded to promptly and appropriately.

Affirmative Action

  • Serve as a consultant and resource about the need for reasonable accommodation.

Related information

MnDOT Harassment policy
MnDOT Reasonable Accommodation policy
MnDOT Zero Tolerance of Violence in the Workplace policy

History of policy updates or amendments

Supersedes

Policy 3.3 - Psychological Fitness for Duty Exams and Inquiries,” established 4-5-1999

Ownership

Responsible Senior Officer

Tracy Hatch
Deputy Commissioner/COO/CFO
tracy.hatch@state.mn.us
651-366-4811

Policy Owner

Karin van Dyck
Director, Human Resources
karin.van.dyck@state.mn.us
651-366-3385

Policy Contact

Jodi Mathiason
Labor Relations Manager
jodi.mathiason@state.mn.us
651-366-3404