Fitness for Duty

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Policy No. 1106
Effective Date: 01/05/12
Revised Date: 11/03/15
Reviewed Date: 12/10/13

Fitness for Duty Policy


1.1 To protect the employee and the campus community by requiring medical certification of fitness for duty when an employee is absent from work due to a medical condition.

1.2 To provide managers and supervisors with guidance and practical steps for evaluating an employee's fitness for duty when an employee is:

  1. Having observable difficulty performing work duties safely for him/herself, others, and/or properly as determined by the supervisor;
  2. Posing an imminent and serious safety threat to self or others; or
  3. Being hired into a safety/health-sensitive, security-sensitive or health care position.


2.1 The fitness for duty policy applies to all University employees.

Basis of the Policy

3.1 The University of Nebraska Medical Center is committed to providing a safe workplace and to protecting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, visitors and University property. In order to provide a safe working environment, employees must be able to perform their job duties in a safe, secure, productive, and effective manner, and remain able to do so throughout the entire time they are working. Employees who are not fit for duty may present a safety hazard to themselves, to others, and to property.

Authorities and Administration

4.1 The UNMC Human Resources' Division Director of Employee Relations is responsible for the administration, implementation, and maintenance of the fitness for duty policy at the campus level in consultation with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Executive Director of Human Resources and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.


5.1 Employees' Responsibilities:

  1. Reporting to work fit for duty and remaining fit for duty the entire time working.
  2. Notifying the manager/supervisor when they are not fit for duty.
  3. Notifying the manager/supervisor when they observe a coworker who may be unfit for duty. If the supervisor's behavior is the focus of concern, an employee may inform the upper level manager or Human Resources - Employee Relations at 402-559-7394 or 402-559-8534.
  4. Prospective employees being considered for a safety/health-sensitive, security-sensitive or health care position must be able to pass a pre-employment fitness for duty test/physical test. A prospective employee who tests positive for the presence of drugs in the initial screening or otherwise fails the fitness for duty test shall have the offer of employment rescinded.
  5. Employees must be able to pass a for cause drug test. Failure to do so will result in corrective and disciplinary action. Refusal to take a for cause drug test may result in corrective and disciplinary action up to and including separation.
  6. Any drug testing performed under this section will be performed in compliance with state and federal law.
  7. Employees returning from a medical leave (sick leave of five days or more) are required to provide a medical provider's certification that they are fit to return to work. Human Resources - Employee Relations will notify employee that medical certification is required. If medical certification is not submitted employee's return to work may be delayed until certification is submitted. Other appropriate disciplinary action may be taken.

5.2 Managers/Supervisors' Responsibilities:

  1. Observing and documenting the attendance, performance, and behavior of the employees they supervise.
  2. Following policy and procedures when presented with circumstances or knowledge that indicates that an employee may be unfit for duty.
  3. Utilizing these procedures in a fair and consistent manner, respecting the employee's privacy and the confidentiality of medical information as defined in Neb. Statute 48-1906.
  4. Coordinating with Human Resources - Employee Relations when employee is returning from medical leave.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Please see UNMC's Notice of Non-Discrimination regarding the University of Nebraska Medical Center's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Additional Information

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