Proceed with caution when making health-related inquiries

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employers enter a legal minefield when they inquire about the health of applicants or employees. State and federal laws—such as the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), the ADA and the FMLA—overlap, and any misstep can cause a litigation explosion.

Applicants and the ADA

Under the ADA, employers may not ask applicants about any potentially disabling conditions before an employment offer has been made.

Pre-employment inquiries about an applicant’s ability to perform job-related functions are allowed. For example, if driving is a job function, an employer may ask an applicant if he or she has a driver’s license. You may not ask if the applicant has a visual disability. As long as the questions are not phrased in terms of a disability, the questions may be extensive and detailed and may be directed toward both essential and marginal job-related functions.

You can also ask, “Can you perform the duties of thi...(register to read more)

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