The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability and places specific limitations on an employer's right to require physical and medical examinations for job applicants and employees (MN Stat. Sec. 363A.01 et seq.). The Act covers all employers regardless of size.
Applicants. An employer may require a physical and medical exam and condition a job offer on the results of the exam if:
• An offer of employment has been made on the condition that the applicant meets the physical or mental requirements of the job.
• The exam is given to all applicants who have been offered employment in the same job category, regardless of disability.
• The exam tests only essential job-related abilities.
• The information obtained from the exam is collected and kept separately in medical files and treated as a confidential medical record.
Employees. An employer may require an exam:
• If an employee consents, to obtain medical information for the purpose of assessing the employee's continuing ability to perform the job.
• To assess the need for a reasonable accommodation.
• To obtain information to determine eligibility for the second injury fund under workers' compensation.
Records. Applicant records, including medical examination results, must be retained by employers for at least 1 year after the record is made.
When basing an employment decision on the results of a physical exam, employers should be sure to carefully review the exam results and the requirements of the job in question before making a decision. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a job applicant after a review of the evidence showed that the employer required the ...