EEOC alleges medical exams and questionnaires violate ADA, GINA

November 19, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Courtney Bru

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits employers’ ability to make disability-related inquiries or subject employees to medical exams. You may not take those actions until after you’ve offered the applicant a job. Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, you may ask about medical conditions or require a medical exam, as long as you do it for all individuals in that job category. If the inquiries or exam screens someone out because of a disability, you must demonstrate that you rejected him for a reason that is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” Generally, you must show you had a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that his ability to perform the essential job functions would be impaired by his medical condition.  Health history form

EEOC: Standards, inquiries used to discriminate

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Return-to-work woes: EEOC challenges medical release requests under ADA, GINA

December 14, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Geoffrey D. Rieder

In a lawsuit filed in September, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that a Minnesota-based power company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) by requiring an employee returning from medical leave to execute overbroad medical release forms for a fitness-for-duty medical examination. In EEOC v. Cummins Power Generation, currently pending in the federal district court in Minnesota, the agency asserts that the employer violated both the ADA and GINA when it attempted to obtain certification that the employee was medically qualified to return to work from medical leave. The EEOC’s aggressive approach in this case suggests that employers may be well-advised to review policies and practices governing employees’ return to work following medical leaves of absence.  PrivateMedicalInformation


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Who is GINA, and why should I care about her?

September 15, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Mark Jeffries

Those of us in HR and the field of employment law sometimes feel like we’re being force-fed a veritable alphabet soup of federal statutes. We have to mind our p’s and q’s under the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, ADAAA, and ADEA, just to name a few. But there’s a relatively young law that some of you may not be aware of: the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, or GINA.

Because GINA just became law a few years ago and her scope is fairly limited, many employers may not have given her much thought. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed its first GINA lawsuit against an employer, resulting in a $50,000 settlement. So beware―GINA is out there, and the facts of the EEOC’s case show how easy it can be to run afoul of her prohibitions.

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EEOC steps up enforcement of genetic information nondiscrimination

September 15, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Roberta Fields

Each year, scientific advancements in the field of genetics broaden our understanding of health issues and, specifically, the impact heredity plays on a person’s chances of developing certain medical conditions. Such research has led to more and more genetic tests designed to help people understand their risks for getting cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other diseases and conditions.

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