New York State Education Law Section 913 allows a School District’s Board of Education to demand a medical examination of an employee. The examination is conducted by a doctor or mental health professional qualified to evaluate the teacher or employee’s medical condition.
913 Examinations are allegedly conducted to “safeguard the health of children” who are attending public schools. The decision to demand a 913 Exam can be related to a physical safety concern, or simply represent an inquiry into the competency of an employee related to their health. Examples of situations in which a School District might seek to conduct such an examination could include: an employee is experiencing absences based on a physical or mental illness, an employee exhibiting behavior that the School Board believes warrants investigation by a mental health professional, or an employee requiring workplace accommodations for a medical condition.
Section 913 empowers a Board of Education to investigate issues concerning the determination of physical or mental competency to perform an employee’s work-related duties. While such investigation is not unlawful, the act of conducting a 913 Examination indicates that an individual being examined may be a member of a protected class based upon disability or the perception of disability. State, Federal, and local laws may offer protections for individuals if they are being discriminated against due to their disabilities. For example, if an educator needs a medical accommodation, and a District seeks to conduct an evaluation concerning his or her need for an accommodation, he or she may want to speak with attorneys to investigate whether a School District has previously engaged in any potential acts of discrimination, failure to accommodate, or retaliation due to an employee’s need for a medical accommodation.
The attorneys at Leeds Brown Law represent teachers and educators against discriminatory practices by their administrations. If you feel you’ve been subjected to a 913 Exam for a discriminatory reason, or if you feel your rights have been violated because of a medical or psychological condition, contact us via email or by phone at (212) 661-4730 or (516) 873-9550 today.