Montana Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

Montana Physical Exams: What you need to know

The Montana Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or disability. The Act covers all employers regardless of size, including employment agencies, labor organizations, and state and local government agencies (MT Code Sec. 49-2-303).
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Montana's Human Rights Commission has issued regulations concerning medical examinations and inquiries (MT Admin. Rules 24.9.607).
Applicants. Under the regulations, an employer is prohibited from requiring a medical examination or making inquiries of a job applicant for the purpose of determining the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. However, after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment, it can require a medical exam if it is required of all prospective employees for the job, regardless of disability. All information obtained about an applicant's medical condition or history must be treated as a confidential medical record. The regulations are consistent with the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Employees. An employer may not require a medical examination or make a inquiry of employees regarding a physical or mental disability unless it is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity (MT Admin. Rules 24.9.607 (1)).
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the ADA's business necessity standard for requiring a medical examination may be met, and an employer may require a preemptive fitness-for-duty exam, if there is a genuine reason to doubt that an employee is still capable of doing his job (Brownfield v. City of Yakima, 612 F.3d 1140 ...

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