The key to the long-term success of your functional capacity evaluation (FCE) and post-offer testing (POET) career is to adopt a federal court-accepted ADA Title I medical examination process. No matter which evaluation ‘system’ you use, this unique workshop delivers a solid, practical foundation that minimizes your risk of federal non-compliance. This is brain-on, practical training: you come away well grounded in the premise and purpose of work evaluation under ADA Title I with a focus on your process roadmap.
How We Got to Where We Are Today
The premise of all functional capacity evaluation and post-offer tests under ADA Title I (see: 42 U.S. Code § 12112 – Medical Examinations and Inquiries) is: the work evaluator compares an individual to the specific physical and cognitive demands of the Essential Functions of the job to which he is attached or desires. The evaluation process must avoid inquiries that raise the specter of disability or that query family health and work history. Each inquiry must include an effective response to a request for reasonable accommodation during the application or testing process.
This training will begin with an orientation to the current status of ADA Title I enforcement in the area of medical examination and inquiries. Review of a current FCE legal settlement and a recently filed POET employment discrimination charge will orient the training to both private and federal against our peers. Throughout the course, we will use the process roadmap and a case study to develop each of the concepts we encounter.
Purpose – Informing the Seven Types of ADA Title I Medical Examinations
Each time you administer an FCE or POET, you must provide next-step answers about the safe ability of an otherwise qualified individual to execute the specific physical and cognitive demands of the Essential Functions of the job to which the individual is attached or desires. Note that it takes a long sentence to express the simple reason for the tests you administer.
Common commercial names for Title I Medical Examinations include:
Functional Capacity Evaluation Job Match – Workers’ Compensation, Short-Term Disability, and Long-Term Disability
Functional Capacity Evaluation to Determine Safe Stay-at-Work Ability
Assessment of Perceived Direct Threat
Post-Offer Employment Test
Work Hardening Exit Examination
Reasonable Accommodation Work Disability Confirmation
Process – Navigating the Testing Nuances that Keep You Out of a Legal Snarl
The process of administering an ADA Title I Medical Examination differs based on the reason for referral and the individuals’ phase of employment. The key to success is knowing how to match the purpose to the process allowed in each phase of employment. For example, physical effort testing (often referred to as ‘consistency of effort testing’) is administered in every functional capacity evaluation; it is not administered in a post-offer employment test. However, when used in an FCE, the use of effort test results must be handled very carefully. An unsophisticated work evaluator may easily fall into the trap of misapplying physical effort data to a workability decision. That is, one type of test requires the ability to analyze results; the other requires analysis and application to the purpose of the inquiry.
Legal compliance in an ADA Title I Functional Capacity Evaluation is different than in an old-school FCE. The roles and legality of physical effort testing are very different in one versus the other. Mismanagement routinely results in a significant EEOC or private settlement.
The intended outcome of this training is to equip the evaluator with a process that identifies the unique variables of each type of medical examination. Using the process roadmap, and with the nuances of the law understood, the evaluator can develop a test protocol in compliance with Title I of the ADA.
In Other Words
In other words, when you leave this training you will know the questions not to ask based on the type of medical examination (i.e., POET, FCE – RTW, FCE – SSAW, FCE – RA, Fit for Duty) ordered. You will also understand why a ‘technician’ should not be responsible for physical effort reporting or workability decisions. It is very likely that you will return to your clinic and design a wall posture that outlines your practice’s ‘Safe for Evaluation and Denial of Testing’ policies. Likewise, you will change your thinking about the role reasonable accommodation plays in every aspect of employment testing. And it is highly likely your marketing and sales team will soon be sitting in a training program about how to include reasonable accommodation in their conversations with customers.
Who Should Attend
The obvious beneficiaries of this process knowledge transfer are work evaluators and clinic owners. This course is also valuable to employment law attorneys who desire to know about the mechanisms of testing, ADA Coordinators (ADAC), and workers’ compensation risk and case management professionals.
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Occupational Medicine Physicians
- Vocational Evaluators
- Workers’ Compensation Legal Counsel
- ADA Title I Legal Counsel
- Reasonable Accommodation Program Managers
The training will be held at the headquarters of Matheson Education and Training Solutions in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Arriving Via the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
American, Delta, United, and Southwest airlines serve the Manchester-Boston (MHT) regional airport. The airport is located an easy 10 to 15-minute drive from the Matheson Education and Training Solutions office. The training will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and end no later than 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.