California Physical Exams: What you need to know

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) allows employers to require applicants and employees to undergo medical or psychological examinations, subject to certain restrictions. FEHA covers employers with five or more employees (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12900 et seq.).
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Job applicants. An employer may require an applicant to take a medical exam after an offer of employment has been made, and may condition the job offer on the results of the exam, provided:
• The exam is job related and consistent with business necessity.
• The same exam is given to all entering employees in the same job category.
• Exam results are kept on separate forms and treated as confidential medical records.
• Any individual who would be disqualified by the results is allowed to submit independent medical opinions before a final decision is made (CA Comm. Rules Tit. 2 Sec. 7294.2).
Employees. FEHA also authorizes an employer to require an employee to undergo a medical or psychological examination or to make inquiries of an employee if the exam or inquiry is job related and consistent with business necessity. Inquiries and exams are also permitted to determine whether an employee continues to meet the job-related physical or psychological standards for his or her job.
State law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restrict an employer's ability to require medical exams. California employers that are covered by both the ADA and California law must follow the California law because it offers the greater protection to individuals with disabilities.
Medical condition. Like the ADA, California law prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of his or her mental or physical ...

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