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Sunday, January 31, 2016

IN THE MATTER OF PAUL WILLIAMS, TOWNSHIP OF LAKEWOOD A-0341-15T2

IN THE MATTER OF PAUL WILLIAMS, TOWNSHIP OF LAKEWOOD 
A-0341-15T2 
In this case of first impression in New Jersey, we considered the issue of whether an employer's order that an employee undergo a psychological examination to determine his continued fitness for duty was reasonably justified under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101-12213. The employer ordered the examination after receiving a letter from an anonymous source complaining of the employee's disruptive behavior. The employer failed to take any action to investigate the allegation and waited over eight months to require the evaluation. When the employee refused to undergo the examination, citing the protections provided under the ADA, the employer terminated him from employment. The Civil Service Commission upheld the termination. 

After reviewing the applicable provisions of the ADA, together with the EEOC's regulations and interpretative Enforcement Guidance, we concluded that the termination was improper and provided guidance to employers on how these provisions should be applied in future cases.