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Disability discrimination and medical exams

Disability discrimination is real. This is something that impacts thousands of people every year. In addition to those who are a direct victim, there are others, such as coworkers, who are affected as well.

There are many types of disability discrimination, and this can occur at any stage of the application and employment process. For example, there are limits on companies when it comes to asking applicants medical questions or to identify if they have a disability.

After an offer of employment is made, the law allows a company to condition the offer based on the answers of certain medical questions or a medical examination, but only if all new hires are subject to the same process.

Finally, disability and medical exams come into play once a person begins working as an employee. Employers only have the right to require an examination or ask questions if the employer needs documentation as a means of supporting a request for reasonable accommodation. The law also requires companies to keep medical information in separate files and 100 percent confidential.

Employers have a lot to think about when it comes to medical exams. This holds true from interviewing through active employment.

It does not matter if you are going through the interview process or have been working for a company for many years, it is a must to understand disability discrimination and how/if the company is allowed to conduct medical exams. There are times when an employer discriminates on purpose. There are also times when this is a mistake. Either way, it is against the law.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Disability Discrimination," accessed Aug. 31, 2015

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