What can employers do to keep the workplace safe?

Safety matters.

It touches every person in a company, whether they’re upper level management or an hourly employee. If it’s ignored or missed by just one person, everyone can be impacted.

That’s part of the reason why background checks started. Workplace safety gained priority, and screening helped ensure it. Screening boosts safety with regular checks or drug screening, for example.

What else can employers do to ensure safety? According to one recent court case, employers can, in certain situations, require medical confirmation that employees can safely complete their job description.

Here’s how this case worked.

According to information filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, a Postal Worker in the case had a history of taking medical leaves. He returned from his latest leave of absence with a doctor’s note saying he was cleared to work.

But here’s the twist: his wife sent a separate note claiming the man was not well enough to work, telling his bosses he’d have a breakdown if he returned. When managers requested extra health confirmation from his doctor, the man refused. Eventually, the employee was fired. He later sued, citing discrimination.

What did the court decide? The court ruled in the employer’s favor. According to the court documents, employers can seek “voluntary medical examinations and make inquiries into the ability of an employee to perform job-related functions.” This isn’t the only case where courts have ruled that employers with concerns about workplace safety represent a “legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for requesting a medical exam,” say these court documents.

This case reinforces the importance of workplace safety. It doesn’t mean, though, that we shouldn’t stay compliant. Making both a top priority will make a difference in the long run.

A screening partner like ClearStar can help you be ready for any situation. Not sure where to start? Call us today. We’d love to put our compliance experts to work for you!

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