Appellate court permits fitness for duty exam for “stressed out” employee.

Well, it had to happen.  Employees had been doing quite well with the Supreme Court and had won a number of favorable rulings lately.  Recently, the Appellate Court set us back a bit.  In Joyner v. Simkins Industries, Inc., the Appellate Court ruled that an employer was within its rights to terminate an employee who failed to show up for a fitness for duty exam after missing a few days because of stress.  While the ADA regulations permit fitness for duty exams in limited circumstances, this rule should be narrowly construed in favor of employee’s medical rights.  Employers certainly do not have the right to require prospective employees to submit to general medical examinations.  They should not acquire that right simply because an employee took a few days off because she became “stressed out” over an increased workload. The slippery slope here is obvious.  Any time an employee takes a mental health day, they could be subject to a general medical examination.  Of course, the privacy rights of the employee to his or her medical conditions will then be destroyed.  This was a bad ruling by the Appellate Court.  Maybe the Supremes will correct it.


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1 Comment

  1. dooda says:

    The Appellate Court did get it wrong or maybe the Plaintiff’s lawyer had a hangover and he got it wrong. When a case as obvious as this loses, the lawyer is suspect; however, if this isn’t the case, then the Judge’s employer needs to order him a ‘fitness for duty exam’.

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