Just because you have a disability does not mean you cannot do specific jobs. Anti-discrimination laws seek to help everyone who can work get a job, regardless of their disability or medical history. One of the ways they do this is by providing guidelines regarding pre-employment medical examinations.
When are medical exams acceptable?
Employers may require medical exams, but they should meet the following conditions:
- They should first make a job offer before requiring a medical exam.
- The medical exam should be both related to the job duties and workplace environment, and consistent with the employer’s business needs.
- They should require all hirees for the same job to take a medical exam.
- They should keep the exam’s result confidential and not use it to discriminate against applicants or employees.
It is possible that your employer will withdraw their conditional offer after seeing your exam’s results. If they do, they should prove that, even if they provided reasonable accommodations, your health condition or disability will prevent you from doing your job.
What constitutes a medical exam?
Under the law, medical exams should include procedures like the following:
- Vision tests
- Tests that measure your blood pressure or cholesterol levels
- X-ray, CAT scans and other diagnostic tests
- Nerve conduction tests for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Range-of-motion tests
- Psychological screening for mental disorders
The following tests are not covered by the restrictions on medical exams, and can be more readily given by the employer:
- Drug tests
- Lie detector tests
- Physical agility tests
- Psychological tests that determine your habits and preferences
As a job applicant, it helps to watch out for misconduct by prospective employers. Consulting with an employment attorney can help you identify potentially discriminatory requirements and understand how you can effectively protect your rights.