Should an employer ask me to get a medical exam?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2023 | Employment |

Disabled individuals can still perform many kinds of work, with or without the aid of reasonable accommodations. However, some employers try to screen out disabled applicants by asking them to undergo a medical exam.

The state Fair Employment and Housing Act establishes broad protections for disabled employees in California, including rights against discriminatory practices. A prospective employer requiring a doctor to examine you could violate the FEHA.

When an exam request is illegal

In general, the FEHA does not permit an employer to make inquiries regarding your mental or physical state. An employer cannot even ask you indirectly about such topics. These prohibitions also include employer requirements for you to take a medical or psychological test.

However, an employer may still ask you about your ability to carry out the tasks of a job you apply for. If your disability impacts your ability to do the necessary work, you may request a reasonable accommodation.

When an exam request may be legal

The legality of an exam requirement could change after you have received an offer of employment. Before you begin your duties, your employer could have you undergo a medical exam. However, the exam must relate to the duties of your job.

Moreover, the test requirement must be consistent in practice. Your employer cannot single you out for an exam but allow other applicants to join the business without taking the same test.

Should you lose out on a job or end up getting the job but suffer unfair treatment afterward, think about whether or not your employer illegally required you to undergo a medical exam. It may show a pattern of discriminatory treatment against you.