Sometimes an agency just needs assurances that an employee is physically and psychologically fit to do his/her job. In the federal government, under certain circumstances, an agency may require that a federal employee undergo a Fitness for Duty Examination. If an employee fails to undergo such examination, then he/she may be disciplined for Failure to Report for a Fitness for Duty Examination.
To prove this charge an agency must show that: (1) it had the authority to order the employee to report for the exam; and (2) the employee failed to report for the exam. Generally, the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) views this charge in the same way as an Insubordination charge. Please see our previous blog post on Insubordination.
Whether an agency had the authority to order the exam is a crucial element of this charge. This element can determine by looking at the medical standards in the official description of the position at issue. There is no inherent authority on the part of the agency to order such an exam. As such many defenses turn on whether the agency had the authority to order the exam. Other defenses involve whether the employee substantially complied with the examination, whether the examination was unjustified in light of the results, and whether disability discrimination is at play.
The attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. as federal employment attorneys are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters. Contact us today 404 724 0000.