Massachusetts Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

Massachusetts Physical Exams: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits an employer from requiring a medical examination of a job applicant unless the employer has made a conditional job offer. The Act allows an employer to condition an offer of employment on the results of a medical examination. However, the exam may be conducted only to determine whether the employee is capable of performing the essential functions of the job with a reasonable accommodation. The Act covers employers with six or more employees (MA Stat. Ch. 151B Sec. 4(16)).
Under regulations issued by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), any physical or mental job requirement must be functionally related to the specific job an individual is seeking and must be consistent with the safe and lawful performance of that job. According to MCAD guidelines, if an individual is not hired because a post-offer medical examination or inquiry reveals a disability, the reason must be job related, consistent with business necessity, and necessary for the performance of the essential functions of the job sought.
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Applicants. The ADA is similar to state law in prohibiting employers from requiring medical examinations before a conditional job offer is made.
Employees. In contrast to state law, the ADA specifically restricts an employer's right to require physical examinations and requires that any medical information obtained by an employer be kept as a confidential medical record separate from other employment records. Employers are prohibited from requiring an employee to undergo a medical examination unless the exam is job related and consistent with business necessity. The ADA covers employers with ...

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