Employee Medical Testing and ADA Compliance

Employers have sought accurate information concerning the physical and psychological abilities of prospective employees for a long time. Police and fire departments have required physical agility tests for entering applicants for over a century. Just as the military, athletic teams and circuses have “auditioned” future employees by requiring physical agility tests, many American employers traditionally have required physical agility and medical tests of varying complexity.

Effective in 1992 for most private employers, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provided legal guidelines for the conduct of non-discriminatory physical agility and medical employment testing. Many employers have erroneously concluded that the ADA prohibits them from any inquiries about the physical or mental state of their job applicants or employees. On the contrary, the ADA provides a “bright line road map” to what medical testing is legal at each of the three stages of employment: Pre-Offer, Post-Offer Pre-Placement, and Post-Placement (current employees).  To view a “Hiring Flow Chart” which illustrates the three stages of employment, click on the power point presentation below entitled “Legalities of Screening at the Three Stages of Employment.”

Greg Cairns has studied intensively the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended), the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other federal and state case law and other federal and state legislation which impact the medical testing of employees. With 33 years of workers’ compensation experience, Mr. Cairns is uniquely qualified to consult with employers, medical professionals and other attorneys about the legal requirements and practicalities of medical employment testing.

The research performed by Mr. Cairns has yielded a “down to earth” method of understanding of legal complexities of medical testing of employees: “Models of ADA Compliant Employment Testing”. Models of employment testing  are presented in the power point lecture below entitled “Legalities of Screening at the Three Stages of Employment”. That lecture includes a concise explanation of:

1. At what stage of employment the model is legal.

2. What steps the employer must take.

3. What steps a medical professional may take

Cairns & Associates, P.C.

3900 E. Mexico Avenue
Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210

Phone (303) 481-6345
Fax (866) 277-0355

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