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What is a “Fitness for Duty”? Is a “Threat Assessment” different?

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D.

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By Stephen M. Raffle, M.D.

A Fitness for Duty is just a short-hand way of saying “Fitness for Duty Examination” or Report. It means an examination is required to determine if an employee is “fit” to do his or her job (duty). The job description defines the parameters which need to be evaluated. A psychiatric “FFD” assesses the presence of a psychiatric condition which may make the employee unable to do his or her job.

A threat assessment or assessment for potential risk of violence occurs when there is a reasonable concern by the employer if the employee may be dangerous to himself or others; if the employee already has been violent or threatening to himself or others at work, then a combination FFD/threat assessment may be performed before returning the employee to work. Also at issue is if the employee is creating a hostile work environment.

A Threat Assessment is not a Fitness for Duty exam because the focus of each is different although some overlap may exist.

See also in Practice Areas: Fitness for Duty and Threat Assessment
and in Articles: When the Workplace Turns Hostile

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not constitute legal or medical advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel or physician for the most current information and to obtain professional legal advice or medical advice before acting on any of the information presented.

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