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How to Conduct a Legal Preemployment Medical Exam

Author: Linda Segall, Segall Enterprises

Employers understandably want to hire employees who are physically and mentally able to do their jobs. Because of this, employers are permitted, under certain circumstances, to ask job applicants to undergo preemployment medical examinations.

The law that dictates if a medical exam is permissible is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which covers employers with 15 or more employees. The ADA splits the hiring process into two stages:

  • Before a conditional offer of employment is extended; and
  • After a conditional offer of employment is extended.

The ADA does not permit pre-offer medical exams to be conducted as a condition of employment. However, the Act does permit several types of other tests to be done prior to making a job offer as long as they are applied consistently to all candidates. These include: