is it legal for an employer to require a staff member to get a physical?

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is it legal for an employer to require a staff member to get a physical?

I own a child care center and I have a staff member with some health issues, none of which have severely interfered with her work. However, in the past 2 weeks she has expressed that she will get so dizzy that she may tip over or even lose her sight. She has also said that she will get a migraine so bad that she will pass out. I made a comment that when she opens the facility up, she needs to stay in the front space where clients come in just in case she passes out so a client will find her. She’s had issues with her shoulder that causes it to pop out, so she cannot lift children or hold them. Can I legally make her get a physical because of the liability that she has the potential to be and for the safety of the children under her care?

Asked on December 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An employer can requie that a worker produce medical documentation attesting to the fact that they can perform their job duties. This can include providing evidcence of a completed physical. And think about it, in this case since child care is involved it is prudent for you to do so regarding not only possible injuires to a child if she should drop one but your potential liability for any injuries suffered as a result.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Because what you describe affects both her fundamental ability to do her job (e.g. to lift a child, which we would imagine is something someone working in a child care center must be able to do) and your liability (e.g. if she falls on or drops a child, or is unconscious or can't see and so can't supervise the children and keep them safe), given her complaints, you can require her to come back with clearance from a doctor demonstrating that she can safetly do all core or important aspects of her job. 


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