Colorado Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

Colorado Physical Exams: What you need to know

The Colorado Antidiscrimination Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (CO Rev. Stat. Sec. 24-34-402). The Act covers all employers, regardless of size. Regulations issued by the state Civil Rights Commission prohibit employers from inquiring about the existence, nature, or severity of an applicant's disability until after the employer has extended an offer of employment. An employer can condition an offer of employment on the results of a medical examination if the exam is required of all individuals who have been offered jobs in the same job category, and the exam results are kept on separate forms and treated like confidential medical records. An employer may make preemployment inquiries into an applicant's ability to perform job-related functions ( 3 CO Code Regs. 708-1).
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Testing employees. State law does not specifically address the circumstances under which employers may require employees to undergo medical exams. However, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from requiring such exams unless they are job related and consistent with business necessity. The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Detailed information is available.
State law and the ADA permit employers to require physical agility and fitness tests at the application stage. A fitness examination demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform job-related functions and is not considered a medical examination under the ADA or state law. An example of a fitness exam that meets these requirements would be a lifting test that is given to applicants for a job that involves heavy lifting.
If physiological or biological responses are measured, the test is considered a medical exam and may not be administered to applicants until after the employer has extended an offer of employment. Additional information about medical exams is available.

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