Prohibited Medical Inquiries – Again

Under the ADA, medical inquiries directed at existing employees are permitted when they are job related and consistent with business necessity.  As explained by the EEOC, a disability-related inquiry or medical examination may be job-related and consistent with business necessity when an employer has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.

Earlier this week, an employer was ordered to pay more than $475,000, which included $202,287 in punitive damages, to a group of former truck drivers because the employer’s medical clearance policy was found to violate the ADA.  The policy in question required drivers to notify the employer whenever they had any contact with a medical professional, including a routine physical.  The employer had been ordered to limit medical inquiries of employees back in 2012, but apparently chose to ignore the court’s prior directions. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-4-15b.cfm

There are certainly circumstances when an employer may have a reasonable belief that an employee has a disability or a medical condition that may be impacting the employee’s ability to do their job or poses a direct threat, and substantiates an employer’s medical inquiry.  However, a blanket policy that requires disclosure of any medical treatment for any condition will not pass muster under the ADA.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s