Are there special concerns under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when interviewing a candidate with an obvious disability?

Author: Melanie J. Perez-Vellios

Yes. When an employer is aware of an applicant's disability, as when it is visibly apparent, the employer should not ask specific health-related questions unless they directly relate to a bona fide occupational qualification.

However, the employer may ask the prospective employee if he or she will need a reasonable accommodation, either during the hiring process or to perform the essential functions of the job. If so, the employer may ask what reasonable accommodations the applicant will need and discuss the proposed accommodations with the applicant.

The employer may also ask the applicant to describe or demonstrate how the applicant will perform the essential functions of the job, including the use of any necessary accommodations.