2,801: Student Employee Fitness for Service

Revised: March 2019

The University is committed to providing a safe workplace and learning environment. In order to provide a safe work environment, student employees must be able to perform their job duties in a safe, secure, productive, and effective manner, and remain able to do so throughout the entire time they are working. Student employees who are not fit for service may present a safety hazard to themselves, to other employees, to students, or to the public. All student employees are required to report to work fit for service and able to perform their job duties in a safe, appropriate and effective manner. This policy applies to all student employees. This policy will be interpreted and applied so as to conform to applicable law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, HIPAA and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

1. Definitions.

a. "Fit for service" means able to perform the duties of the job in a safe, secure, productive, and effective manner, with or without reasonable accommodation.

b. "Health service provider" is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, dentist, podiatrist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, optometrist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, nurse-midwife, or a licensed clinical social worker or other health care practitioner who is authorized to practice in the state of Nevada or licensed in the state in which the health service provider resides or works.

c. "Essential Functions of the Position" generally includes the required major duties and responsibilities of the position, specific tasks associated with the position, and physical, mental and environmental demands of the position, which may be set forth in writing such as a position description, job responsibilities or similar document.

2. Placing a Student Employee on Leave and Requiring Medical Examination and Return to Work Certification.

a. Placing a Student Employee on Leave. An appointing authority or designee, after consultation with the Human Resources Department and or General Counsel, may require a student employee to be placed on unpaid leave and require the student employee to undergo a medical examination and return to work certification if, based upon a written recommendation from the employee's supervisor, the employee:

i. Poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health and safety of the student employee or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced with or without reasonable accommodation; and/or 

ii. Due to a known or suspected illness or injury is not able to perform the essential functions of his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation.

The employer will consider whether the mandatory leave also qualifies as Family and Medical Leave which may only be granted if the student employee is otherwise eligible for such leave.

b. Meeting with Student Employee and Documentation. The employer shall document the reason for placing a student employee on leave and shall provide the student employee with a copy of such documentation including a copy of this policy. The employer shall meet with the student employee before placing him or her on leave to explain the reasons for the action, unless such a meeting poses a significant threat of substantial harm to the health or safety of the employee, his or her fellow employees, students or the public or unless the employee refuses to attend the meeting. If the meeting is not held as provided under this subsection, the employer shall inform the student employee in writing of the reasons the meeting was not held.

c. Access to Premises, Equipment and Resources. Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that life, limb, property or the maintenance of order are at risk, the appointing authority or designee may withdraw consent for the student employee to enter or remain in the assigned workplace and to use institution equipment or resources for work purposes until the student employee is returned to work following the initial medical examination or following a return to work certification. Should the student employee require access to the assigned workplace for coursework or other academic purposes, reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate the student's academic needs by alternative means, if possible. The reasons for the withdrawal of such consent must be given to the student employee in writing at the time of the meeting required in subsection b. above. 

3. Initial Medical Examination and Return to Work Certification.

a. Initial Medical Examination. If the appointing authority places the student employee on leave pursuant to subsection 2 above, the appointing authority or designee shall require the student employee to undergo an initial medical examination performed by a health service provider selected by the employer to determine whether the employee:

i. poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health and safety of the student employee or others that cannot be reduced or eliminated with or without reasonable accommodation; and/or
ii. due to a known or suspected illness or injury is not able to perform the essential functions of his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Student employees are required to cooperate fully with the selected health service provider and must sign consent forms for both the medical examination and the communication of the results to the employer. The health service provider shall report the results of the medical examination in writing to the employer and student employee on a form provided by the employer. The employer shall provide the health service provider with a written description of the essential functions of the student employee's job, as defined in subsection 1(c) above. The final decision on whether a provider's medical examination determination will be accepted lies with the appointing authority or designee after consultation with Human Resources and General Counsel. A second independent health service provider medical examination may be required by the employer for reasonable cause documented in writing. The employer shall pay the costs of the medical examination(s). The determination of whether a student employee is fit for service should be completed within a reasonable time of the student employee being placed on leave in consideration of all of the relevant facts and circumstances.

b. Return to Work Certification. If the medical examination(s) determines that the student employee: i. poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the student employee or others that cannot be reduced or eliminated with or without reasonable accommodation; and/or ii. due to a known or suspected illness or injury is not able to perform the essential functions of his or her position with or without reasonable accommodation, then the student employee shall not return to work, unless and until he or she obtains a written return to work certification from a health service provider on a form provided by the employer. The student employee must provide the health service provider the essential functions of his or her position as defined in subsection 1(c) above and a copy of the written determination(s) from the initial medical examination(s). The final decision on whether a health service provider's return to work certification will be accepted lies with the appointing authority or designee after consultation with Human Resources and general counsel. The student employee is responsible for the cost of the return to work certification.

The employer may, for reasonable cause documented in writing, require a second return to work certification by a health service provider, chosen and paid for by the employer. The student employee is required to cooperate fully with the selected health service provider and must sign consent forms for both the return to work medical examination and the communication of the results to the employer.

4. Fitness for Service Records. Records created pursuant to this policy will be treated as confidential medical records and be maintained by Human Resources separate from existing department and personnel files.

5. Restoration/Payment for Leave. If, as a result of the medical examination(s) provided for in subsection 3.a above, the appointing authority or designee concludes that the student employee is fit for service, any scheduled time missed due to the fitness exam will be paid, unless the student employee caused an unreasonable delay in obtaining the medical examination. If the student employee caused an unreasonable delay, as determined by the employer and documented in writing, the student employee shall not be paid for the period of the delay.

6. Finding that the Employee is not Fit for Service. If the appointing authority or designee determines that the student employee is not fit for service in accordance with subsection 3.a above, the employer shall take appropriate action, which may include but is not limited to disciplinary action, including termination. If there are student employee behaviors that violate the Student Code of Conduct, that behavior may be reported to the Student Conduct Office.