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Civil Service Commission Rules and Regulations

Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Policy Number: 7.6.15

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

Offices or departments have authority to direct an employee to take a fitness for duty medical examination when a specific injury, incident, action, or behavior indicates that such an evaluation may be warranted.

Written Order and Administrative Leave

The office or department shall provide the employee with a written Order for Fitness for Duty Evaluation which provides the reason(s) the evaluation is being ordered. The Order should also include whether the employee will be placed on Administrative Leave, with pay, or retained on duty until a final determination is made.

Medical Evaluation

The employee should be referred for medical examination with a statement of the particular demands of the position and a statement of how the employee’s performance fails to meet these demands. Evaluations will be conducted either by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist under contract or employed by the County, as appropriate, at no expense to the employee. A list of doctors may be obtained from Human Resources.

Failure to Complete the Evaluation

Failure by the employee to complete the evaluation process may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

Removal from Duty

In the event that the medical evaluation finds the employee not fit for duty, the employee will be removed from their position pursuant to Bexar County Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

If the employee has a permanent disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employee may be considered for an open position within that office or department. The employee must perform the essential functions of the job in question, with or without reasonable accommodation, and must meet the minimum job requirements. The employee’s salary will depend on the pay range for the open position and will be in accordance with County policy. If there are no open positions or the employee refuses the offer, the office or department will proceed with the termination.

Appeal Procedures - Fitness for Duty Actions

An employee who is suspended, demoted or terminated under this policy may file an appeal under the appeal procedures outlines under Bexar County Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

Three Doctor Panel

  1. If the aggrieved employee files a timely appeal with the Commission, the Commission will select a panel of three (3) physicians or psychiatrists (depending on the nature of the fitness requirement) and submit the names and addresses of the panel of three (3) doctors to the appealing employee. The list of doctors should be sent by certified mail to the employee’s last known address.
  2. The appealing employee has the option of being examined by at least two (2) of the three (3) doctors on the panel to determine the employee’s fitness for duty. All expenses and fees for these medical evaluations by the panel shall be paid for by the County if the employee is found fit for duty by two of the three doctors. If the appealing employee is not found fit for duty by two of the three doctors, all expenses and fees for the medical evaluations shall be paid for by the appealing employee.
  3. The evaluations must be conducted and the doctors’ reports submitted to the Commission within thirty (30) business days after receipt of the notification by the Commission. Failure by the appealing employee to schedule the evaluation or have the reports submitted timely will act to forfeit the appeal.
  4. In order to aid in the evaluation of the employee, the Commission shall require the office or department, or the physician, psychiatrist or psychologist under contract or employed by the County, to submit the results of the fitness for duty evaluation and any attending medical records or reports to the doctors on the panel selected by the employee. The appealing employee must sign a medical release and will be responsible for any cost for obtaining these records if found not fit for duty by two (2) of the three (3) doctors. Furthermore, the Commission shall require the appealing employee to submit any medical records or reports concerning their condition prepared by their personal physicians or hospitals to the doctors on the panel selected by the employee.
  5. The selection of the panel of doctors by the Commission shall be made from a list of eligible physicians or psychiatrists maintained by the Commission for this purpose. Eligibility for any doctor to be appointed to the list shall be determined by the Commission based upon the recommendations of the Bexar County Medical Association. Additionally, none of the appointed doctors on the panel may be employed by the County or under contract to the County or under contract to the County.
  6. If two (2) out of three (3) doctors on the panel find that the appellant is fit for duty, the Commission will order the reinstatement of the appealing employee.

Hearing before the Commission

The Commission will not hold an evidentiary hearing concerning Fitness for Duty Evaluation appeals and will not analyze or debate medical findings or evidence. The Commission’s decision will be solely based on the recommendations of the panel.

The Commission recognizes that there may be instances where an appealing employee may have been disciplined for conduct or acts which are unlawful or rule infractions which led to their fitness for duty re-evaluation, as well as being demoted, suspended or dismissed for the required fitness for duty. In those cases, the Commission shall resolve the issue of fitness for duty through the above procedures before determining the issue of the conduct or rule or violation If the appealing employee is reinstated on the issue of fitness for duty, the office or department is not prohibited from bringing or maintaining disciplinary action against the employee for any conduct or rule violations which led to the fitness for duty evaluation. Any disciplinary action for such conduct or action shall be severed from the fitness for duty issue and dealt with at a separate evidentiary hearing.