The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/1‑102 et seq.). The Act covers all public and private employers, regardless of size.
According to state regulations, an employer may require all applicants who are otherwise qualified to submit to a preemployment physical examination if it is:
• Given to all applicants for the same job
• Used only to determine whether an applicant is capable of performing the job duties in question or to determine the nature of any accommodation that may be needed
Employers may not use exams to disqualify applicants who have a condition or characteristic that presents a risk of future injury. The results of any preemployment examination must be made available to the applicant on request (56 IL Admin. Code 2500.60).
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also addresses the issue of physical exams. The ADA allows employers to require exams for both applicants and employees, but with certain restrictions. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Applicants. Under the ADA, applicants may not be given an exam before a job offer has been made. It is also unlawful to ask an applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. However, once an offer has been made and before an applicant begins to work, an employer may require an exam and condition the job offer on the exam results, provided:
• The exam is given to prospective employees in the same job category, regardless of disability.
• Information gathered during the exam is maintained on separate forms kept in files separate from other personnel records ...