The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against individuals or independent contractors on the basis of non-job-related handicap or disability, or the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of any individual or independent contractor. According to the state Human Relations Commission, an employer may require medical exams for applicants after it has extended a conditional offer of employment, provided the employer requires the same exam for all entering employees in the job category. Information obtained from the exam must be treated as a confidential medical record.
The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
Like Pennsylvania law, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restricts the right of an employer to give physical exams to applicants and employees. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Applicants. Under state law and the ADA, an employer may give a physical exam after an offer of employment has been made, provided the exam is given to all applicants who have been offered jobs in the same job category. In addition, employers must keep medical information confidential and maintain the information on separate forms in files that are separate from personnel files.
Employees. The ADA and Pennsylvania law are similar with respect to employee exams, so employers that continue to follow Pennsylvania law will also be in compliance with the ADA. The ADA allows an employer to give an employee an exam if it is job related and consistent with business necessity. For example, an employer may require an exam when there is a need to determine ...