(Non Work Comp, Non FMLA)
In general, a medical examination is not necessary when employees return-to-work following a non-FMLA absence for a non work-related condition. In the vast majority of cases, supervisors can rely on their observations and professional judgement to determine whether the employee can safely resume work. In the rare instance when a supervisor has objective reasons to question this, the supervisor may require the employee to immediately leave work to obtain a medical clearance from their personal health care provider.
However, there are two specific situations when a Return-to-Work Evaluation by an Occupational Health Programs’ (OHP) contracted clinic is warranted:
- On the day of the employee’s return to duty, the supervisor observes that the employee is having difficulty safely performing their duties, and the employee has presented a note from their personal health care provider which does not address the problems of concern.
- On the day of the employee’s return to duty, the supervisor learns from a reliable source that the employee had a sudden loss of consciousness during his/her absence, and the employee performs safety-sensitive duties such as driving or operating hazardous machinery.
If either of these situations occur on the day of the employee’s return, the supervisor should immediately send the employee to one of the contracted clinics listed in the Table of Employee Medical Contractors for a Return-to-Work Evaluation. The supervisor must fax or email to the contracted clinic the following before the employee arrives:
- An Employee Examination Work Order,
- A short memo informing the contracted clinic of the supervisor’s concerns, and
- A copy of the note from the employee’s personal health care provider.
If the concerns described above in (A) or (B) occur on days subsequent to the employee’s return-to-duty date, a Medical Reevaluation should be requested through the OHP.
FMLA Note: In the case of an absence which is covered by FMLA, the employer must give notice to the employee that a return-to-work certification will be required when the employer first places the employee on FMLA leave. Thereafter, the subsequent return-to-work certification is completed by the employee’s physician, and must be accepted by the employer with very few exceptions. Therefore, OHP contractors should not be used for FMLA-related return-to-work clearance.