The Legality of Pre-Employment Medical Exams

As an employer, some roles within your company may require employees who meet certain health and medical criteria. Jobs that involve lifting heavy objects, manual labor, and other physical tasks mandate a certain type of employee, and even less labor-intensive tasks at your company may require a specific standard of health and wellness. As an employer, it is important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding pre-employment medical exams and how it may affect employment at your organization. The experienced employment attorneys at Simon Paschal can help you navigate this complicated issue and other legal matters that impact your business.

The ADA and Pre-Employment Medical Exams

 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from making any disability-related inquiries or requests for a pre-employment medical exam prior to an offer of employment. This applies even if the medical exam is directly related to the job responsibilities and requirements. It is important to note that not all employers are subject to the rules and regulations of the ADA. This Act only applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and labor-management committees. If your company does not fall under one of these categories, you may not have to comply with the ban on pre-employment medical exams prior to an offer of employment.

 When are Pre-Employment Medical Exams Permissible? 

Under the ADA, once a conditional offer of employment is extended to an applicant, the employer may request a pre-employment medical examination regardless of whether the exam is related to the job, so long as all incoming employees in the same job category are subject to the same pre-employment testing. Once a conditional offer of employment is accepted and the employee begins work, the Act further limits the employer’s ability to require medical examinations to allow exams only if they are job-related and consistent with a business necessity.

There are many pre-employment medical exams available at the conditional offer stage. This includes a physical exam, psychological tests, and physical or mental health assessments. You can also test for physical fitness in addition to gathering exam information about general health. If a pre-employment exam is instituted with potential employees, any criteria used to exclude or screen conditional employees must be job-related and consistent with a business necessity of the position.

 An Employee’s Right to Medical Privacy

If you choose to require pre-employment medical testing to applicants, it is important to remember that the ADA requires you maintain confidentiality of the medical results and an employee’s medical records unless there is a legitimate business reason to do otherwise.

Call Our Office Today

If you have further questions about the ability of your company to participate in pre-employment medical exams or need assistance with ADA-related matters, call or contact the employment law attorneys at Simon | Paschal in Dallas today. We can help you create guidelines on pre-employment medical testing for your company and provide top quality legal advice for all of your employment needs.

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