Alabama Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

Alabama Physical Exams: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive fair employment laws that restrict an employer's right to require applicants and employees to take medical examinations, but Alabama does not have such a law. However, all state and local government agencies and private employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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Disability-related inquiries and medical exams. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a job applicant does not have to have a disability under the ADA to bring a lawsuit alleging the employer made prohibited medical inquiries (Harrison v. Benchmark Elecs. Huntsville, Inc., 593 F.3d 1206 (11th Cir. 2010)). The job applicant in this case was a contract worker who applied for regular employment with the employer. Before extending an offer, the employer required applicants to undergo a drug screening. When the applicant's test came back positive, the hiring manager called the applicant into his office, phoned the employer's medical review officer (MRO), and stayed in the office while the applicant answered the MRO's questions. The answers revealed that the applicant had epilepsy for which he was taking prescription medication. The hiring manager declined to offer the job to the applicant and asked the placement agency not to have the applicant return to the workplace. When the applicant brought a lawsuit claiming the employer made a prohibited medical inquiry in violation of the ADA, the court ruled he had a right to bring the lawsuit regardless of his disability status.
Under the ADA, an employer is prohibited from conducting a medical examination or making inquiries about the existence, nature, or severity of a job applicant's disability until ...

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