Employee Fitness for Duty
FAQs about Psychological and Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluations:
Why seek a Fitness for Duty Evaluation?
Employers seek Fitness for Duty Evaluations (FFDEs) when they need to make administrative decisions based at least in part upon an employee’s psychological status. This can occur when employers need to decide: a) how to protect their workforce, b) whether to make accommodations for employees, c) how to manage problem behaviors, or d) how to address performance issues.
Why not have the employee’s treating doctor perform the FFDE?
In the past, employee’s treating doctors have both treated their patients as well as offered legal opinions to their patients’ employers about dangerousness and/or ability to work. This practice is now often considered unethical because, rather than being neutral, treating doctors can have strong biases in favor of their own patients. Further, treating doctors frequently do not have the training to conduct FFDEs in a manner designed to withstand the scrutiny of court.
Why shouldn’t the employer or EAP choose the doctor who performs the evaluation?
When the employer chooses a doctor, others might perceive that the employer has unfair influence over that doctor. Often employers believe their EAP can provide the FFDE. In most cases, this is not the case because EAPs do not have the necessary forensic training or experience. Further, providing FFDEs for employers is generally viewed as being in conflict with EAPs' frequent role of counseling employees.
Why should I use PsyBar for FFD evaluations?
PsyBar’s FFDEs are specially designed to stand up in court and protect
parties. Further, PsyBar’s evaluation protocol promotes consistent, comprehensive and objective evaluations that help ensure employees are treated fairly. PsyBar protects the employer and the employee by using its experience selecting doctors, knowledge of the best evaluation techniques, and unparalleled quality assurance that ensures high quality FFDEs. PsyBar also specializes in educating employers, EAPs, and Independent Examiners about best practices in FFDE procedures.