Can I Require a Prospective Employee to Take a Medical Exam?
As a business owner seeking to hire a new employee, you may decide that a particular applicant is ideal for a position, but you have lingering questions about the applicant’s fitness to complete the tasks of the job. Many business owners struggle with how to determine whether a prospective employee is healthy enough or capable of meeting the duties and wonder if they can require a prospective employee to take a medical exam. While it is prohibited under the Americans with Disabilities Act to make such a demand of one prospective employee in particular, you do have alternatives to assist you in your aim to hire only physically-qualified workers for your business without engaging in discriminatory practices.
As part of the application process, you may require that all applicants take a medical exam. However, the medical exam must be the same for all applicants for each position. Once you begin collecting medical records for prospective employees, you must ensure the records are kept confidential in separate files and cannot be accessed by unauthorized personnel. Only in select circumstances may you release confidential medical files, such as to emergency medical services, government officials and on-site managers and supervisors.
If you are hesitant to absorb the cost of conducting medical exams for every applicant, you can by law require a medical exam after an employee has been offered employment or as a condition of employment. However, it is best to seek the expert advice of reputable business attorney to assist you in creating these documents.
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