Is requesting medical exams disability discrimination?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2019 | Disability Discrimination |

Disability discrimination does not necessarily need to be an overt act on the part of an employer or a prospective employer to be considered a legal violation in Kentucky. Some of the ways in which employers will avoid hiring a person who is disabled is to require them to take part in a medical examination or to answer medical questions as part of the terms of employment. If this happens and there is a suspicion or evidence that it was done to avoid hiring a person who has a disability or to fire someone who has been hired, there could be the basis to file a disability discrimination lawsuit to be compensated. Having legal assistance is key to determining whether a case is viable.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has certain rules regarding employers, disabled individuals, medical questions and medical examinations. At the application stage, the employer cannot ask the applicant to answer questions or take a medical exam before a job is offered. The employer cannot ask the applicant if he or she has a disability or about the severity of a disability that the applicant clearly has. The employer does have the legal right to ask a prospective employee if they can do the job and if reasonable accommodations will be needed.

Once the job has been offered, the employer can require the person to answer medical questions and take part in an examination that must be passed to get the job, but the exam and the questions must be asked of all employees who are doing the same job. After the person has started the job, the employer can require an exam and ask questions about medical issues if the employee asks for an accommodation or if the employer does not think the person can do the job in a safe and effective way because of a medical issue. The medical information must stay confidential.

There are many forms of disability discrimination and if the employer is asking seemingly innocuous questions or feigning innocence when asking an applicant or an employee medical questions or requiring a medical exam, it is not necessarily done as a matter of course and is required of all employees. There could be disability discrimination taking place. To combat this treatment and seek compensation, calling a law firm that has experience in these cases can provide information on filing a case.

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