Question: We have an employee that has a medical condition that he says may, on rare occasions, cause him to lose consciousness. He has asked us not to call 911 if that happens, but to wait for a few minutes to see if he regains consciousness. Do we have to honor his request?
Answer: The employee can ask you not to call 911; however, you should not agree to their request. Most of us are not licensed physicians or EMT's, which limits our ability to make accurate medical assessments. If an employee is unconscious or even injured at work, and in your judgment 911 needs to be called – then call 911. If the employee chooses to reject the services of the EMT's once they arrive, that is their choice, but then you as the employer have taken appropriate steps to protect the employee and the company.
If the employee does reject the services of 911 but you have specific and objective concerns about their ability to safely work, you can still require they see a physician and obtain a fitness for duty prior to resuming work duties.
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