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Can Your Employer Ever Force You to Undergo a Medical Exam?

November 30, 2017 Americans with Disabilities Act Claims

What the Americans with Disabilities Act says about medical information

Is it OK for your boss to require you to get a yearly physical? Can your employer insist that you supply medical documentation proving that it’s safe for you to work?

It can be hard to know what your rights are when a manager is demanding information about your health. While there are times when employers are entitled to certain health-related information, there are limits to when and how they can request the information.

Let’s discuss how medical exams are handled under federal law.

When Employers Can Request Medical Info

There are times when your employer may reasonably request certain kinds of your medical information.

For example, if you have a disability that requires an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), your employer may need guidance on how to keep you safe on the job.

If you’re requesting medical leave, your employer may also request documentation to verify the existence or severity of a health issue that you have already disclosed.

However, in those cases, employers may only require information that relates to job-related functions. That is, your employer does not have the right to demand to see your general medical records.

So if you have a back injury and part of your job requires lifting, your employer may lawfully seek information to determine lifting restrictions as work. Your boss may not, however, ask if you’re diabetic, because that information would have no impact on job duties.

Employers may also require a medical exam as part of a pre-employment inquiry. That is, after the employer has made you a conditional job offer, you may be required to undergo an exam to ensure that you are physically capable of performing the job.

What About Wellness Screening?

Many employers offer health screenings and exams as part of a wellness program. The idea is that uncovering health issues early can help the employer save on health insurance costs.

However, employers may not mandate that employees participate in these types of exams.

It’s also important to know that employers cannot use these screenings to weed out employees who may present with health issues.

In addition, your employer may not ask questions that are intended to make you disclose a disability.

Call Us for a Free Consultation

If you believe that you’ve been treated unlawfully due to a medical issue, you should speak with an employment lawyer to find out more about your rights.

Email us at or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation.