Can I give prospective employees a medical exam?

Generally speaking, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer cannot require a prospective job applicant to take a medical exam or inquire about an applicant's disability, the nature of said applicant's disability or the degree or severity of their disability. They may however make any pre-employment inquiries into the capability of a prospective applicant in performing any job related functions unless the necessity of such a medical examination can be shown to be reasonably job related and is consistent with the job requirements.

An employer can require a job applicant take a medical exam after they furnish an offer for employment to the applicant. The employer can require that a medical exam be conducted prior to the job applicant starting their job responsibilities and may even condition the job offer on the results of the medical examination provided certain conditions are met.

First, all job applicants for that position must be subjected to the same medical exam regardless of any disabilities they may potentially harbor. Any medical information that is obtained in the process of administering any medical examinations or through the perusal of any medical history is then collected and stored securely. The information must be maintained on separate forms and each applicant must have their own separate medical file. All information related to said applicant must be treated as a confidential medical record at all times.

The only time such confidential medical information can be shared is with managers or supervisors who must be informed or any restrictions that must be accommodated in relation to work duties of the employee.

Similarly, first aid and safety responders may also be informed of certain conditions that an employee may have if said condition or disability might require specific emergency protocols or treatment. Finally, the only other time confidential medical information may be shared is with certain government officials who are in the process of investigating compliance with local and federal law and statutes.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Title I and V of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA)," Accessed Nov. 3, 2014

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