Fitness for Duty: Supervisor Incident Summary (PDF for print only)
What is the purpose of the FFD Protocol?
The Fitness for Duty Protocol is a planned, comprehensive, multidisciplinary response to insure that an employee is safe to perform their work duties. The purpose is to ensure a safe and civil workplace for all UI employees by addressing any related individual or environmental issues that may contribute to a safe work environment.
What is the FFD Team?
The FFD team responds to incidents that involve the employee's ability to perform the duties of the job safely and in some instances, may address violence, threats of violence, hostility, and on-the-job intoxication. The FFD protocol gathers information about the individual(s) involved, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the workplace environment. FFD team members may include staff from Faculty and Staff Services/ Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Employee and Labor Relations, Faculty and Staff Disability Services, Public Safety, Student Counseling, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Threat Assessment Specialists, Ombudsperson's Office and the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator.
What happens if an employee is involved in any hostility and/or violence at work? And what are examples of these situations?
Some examples of problems at work are: significant performance errors or misjudgments, hostility, incidents of violence, threats of violence, and on-the-job intoxication. If an employee exhibits any of these behaviors, s/he will be required to undergo an evaluation to determine his or her ability to work safely. The department pays all costs related to that assessment. Failure by the employee to co-operate with this evaluation may result in termination of employment. The employing department will conduct a separate but concurrent investigation of the incident to determine if a violation of UI policy of the department's work rules has occurred. The employee's participation in and compliance with the FFD process does not relieve him or her from any potential disciplinary measures that may be taken by the University.
What will happen if an employee is required to undergo an evaluation?
If required to undergo evaluation, these are the steps likely to occur:
- The supervisor and/or HR rep will meet with the employee to initiate and explain the process. They will provide the employee with written materials related to the behavior and/or incident, the EAP assessment appointment details and employment status. They will have set up an appointment at Faculty and Staff Services (UI's EAP) and will tell the employee the date, time and location of the appointment.
- At the EAP appointment, the employee will meet with a licensed mental health professional, who will guide the employee through the risk assessment process and conduct a preliminary mental health/chemical dependency evaluation. Frequently, a referral for a more in-depth evaluation by a professional not affiliated with the University will be required. A psychiatrist, psychologist, or certified chemical dependency counselor usually conducts this second evaluation.
- The EAP counselor will ask the employee to sign a comprehensive release of information for the FFD team and the external provider. The EAP counselor will communicate with the provider, the circumstances of the referral, and the need for evaluation.
- In accordance with federal law, no health information will be shared with anyone without the employee's written consent. Even with the employee's consent, diagnostic information is not shared with the supervisor or department. Provider return to work recommendations are shared with the department to help ensure a successful return
- Typically the employee is not working during the evaluation period. When the provider and the FFD team have cleared the employee to return, the FFD team will assist the department and employee in the preparations for a successful return to work and follow-up support. Any identified needs for formal accommodation under the ADA would follow the normal protocol.
- A FFD team member will also advise the departmental supervisor about possible workplace issues; i.e., unresolved conflict, unclear job descriptions, and unclear communication. These areas and others can be addressed in an Organizational Consultation with the entire group as needed.
Please direct questions to Faculty and Staff Services, 335-2085, Employee and Labor Relations, 335-0052, or UI Ombudsperson's office, 335-3608.
The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. For additional information contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, (319) 335-0705.
Last updated September 2011