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Your guide to medical confidentiality under the ADA and the FMLA

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in Employment Background Check,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

By Luci L. Nelson, Esq.

Both the ADA and the FMLA have strict requirements for how employers must handle employees’ confidential medical information. HR professionals need to know these rules to comply with both acts—and to avoid expensive legal liability for failing to do so.

ADA: What, when you can’t ask

The ADA restricts an employer’s use of medical examinations and inquiries in three situations: (1) at the application stage; (2) after individuals have been offered a job; and (3) for existing employees.

During the “pre-offer stage,” an employer may not perform a medical examination or ask a job applicant whether he or she has a disability (or the nature and severity of such). Employee screening must generally be based on nonmedical factors, although the ADA permits employers to discuss medical issues with job applicants in three situations. Employers may:

  1. Conduct pre-employment inquiries about an applican...(register to read more)

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