Managers who have questions or concerns about an employee’s ability to successfully perform the duties of a particular job have the right to request a “Fitness for Duty Exam.”

A Fitness for Duty Exam is an evaluation by a medical professional hired by the City of Saint Paul to determine if an employee is physically or mentally able to perform the essential functions of a position. Such an exam can be required when an employee is returning from a long-term sickness or injury or when an employee claims that s/he is unable to perform certain functions of a job or the manager believes that the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job. A Fitness for Duty Exam can also be used when an employee’s medical care giver provides incomplete or contradictory information.

Supervisors are not responsible for diagnosing medical or psychological problems, only that there is a question regarding the employee’s physical or mental ability to perform the job.

All Fitness for Duty Exams must be approved by the Director of Human Resources. Before considering such an exam, contact the City Attorney’s Office or Labor Relations to discuss other possible options.

The Process:

  • Step 1: The first step in the process is to send a letter to the Director of Human Resources requesting a Fitness for Duty Exam. The request should include the basic issue at hand with some background information indicating why the department feels an exam is warranted.

  • Step 2:  The Director of Human Resources will review and consider the request.

  • Step 3: If approved, Human Resources schedules an appointment with a doctor or psychologist retained by the City.

  • Step 4: A letter is sent out by Human Resources to the employee notifying them that they are to go to the scheduled appointment. Attached to the letter is a release for medical information so the doctor or psychologist can review the employee’s medical history. This release is voluntary on the part of the employee.

  • Step 5: Human Resource’s Hiring Coordinator will work with employee and clinic to schedule the required medical or psychological exam. Information will be collected from Department and/or Labor Relations to be relayed to physician for appointment.

  • Step 6: After the examination is complete, a report is sent by the doctor or psychologist to Human Resources detailing the results of the examination.

  • Step 7: The report is then shared with the Human Resources Director, and the department is billed for the cost of the exam.

Created: October 2020 (Human Resources and Labor Relations

Last Edited: January 29, 2021