HR Question of the Week – December 15, 2015

Question:

We have a warehouse employee who recently fainted at work due to a drop in blood sugar. Her physician released her to work her normal job duties. However, we have a supervisor who wants to require the employee to check her blood sugar daily before work. Can we do this?

Answer:

Since the employee’s treating physician has given her a full release to work without any restrictions, we do not recommend that you require her to meet any extra preconditions (such as checking her blood sugar) before returning to work. Doing so would likely be seen as discrimination against her due to her medical condition, which would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and could expose you to significant liability.

It is a good idea to monitor the situation, as you want to ensure that your employees are safe in the workplace. If the employee becomes faint at work again it may indicate that she is not able to safely perform her job duties. At that point we would suggest that you provide her with accommodation paperwork to review with her doctor. It is possible that her condition may require some reasonable workplace accommodations in the future, such as more frequent breaks for checking blood sugar, eating, drinking, etc., but at this point in time there is no medical documentation to support that.

Another measure we recommend is providing the employee with the most current job description for the employee’s position so that she can present it to her doctor. This will allow her doctor to make an informed decision about whether any medical condition she has would prohibit her from completing the essential functions of her job.

Source: HR Support Center | Copyright © 2017 AdvaPay Systems, LLC

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