Fitness for Duty Examinations

A Supervisor may require an employee who occupies a position which has medical standards or physical requirements to undergo a fitness-for-duty medical examination whenever there is a direct question about the employees continued capacity to meet any of the physical or medical requirements of the position. Such an examination may be ordered for instances of job-related injuries/illnesses and for those that are not job-related. It may also be offered before management takes disciplinary and/or adverse action against an employee for unacceptable conduct or behavior if it appears that a medical condition may be at the root of the problem.

If an employee has a medical condition which impairs his/her capabilities to safely and efficiently perform the core duties of his/her position, and a fitness-for-duty examination supports this conclusion, management may:

  • Place the employee in another position which accommodates his/her medical condition/limitations
  • Accommodate the employee in his/her current position by temporarily or permanently modifying work assignments and/or the work environment
  • If the two options above are not feasible, the employee may be remove from Federal service for failure to perform the duties of his/her position when it has been determined the disabling condition itself is disqualifying, its recurrence cannot be ruled out, and the duties of the position are such that a recurrence would pose a reasonable probability of substantial harm. See case decision 2014 MSPB 14, Joseph P. Clemems v Department of the Army at

NOTE: A supervisor can offer an employee a medical examination (including a psychiatric evaluation) who does not occupy a position which has medical standards or physical requirements in any situation where they need additional medical documentation to make an informed management decision.

Supervisors should contact their servicing Civilian Personnel Advisory Center before issuing an employee a memorandum for a Fitness-for-duty examination.

Content last reviewed: 09/08/2014-KRB/BWR