Employers often must balance the mandates of seemingly competing directives. A challenging example arises in the area of possible mental impairment. An employer may hear concerns that an employee is acting abnormally, or has hinted at a desire to hurt herself, or is exhibiting other possible signs of mental impairment. The employer does not wish to stereotype the employee unfairly, or unlawfully "regard" the employee as disabled; yet, the employer also must ensure a safe work environment for other employees and others on the premises.
The employer often considers whether it can (or whether it must) require an employee to submit to a fitness-for-duty examination. Two recent cases with differing results provide guidance on the delicacy of this balance.
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Bass, Berry & Sims' Labor Talk blog features news, commentary and insights on the complicated and constantly changing labor and employment laws affecting employers.