New Hampshire Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

New Hampshire Physical Exams: What you need to know

The New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination prohibits the use of any form of application for employment or any inquiry or record in connection with employment that discriminates on the basis of physical or mental disability. The Law does permit employers to make such inquiries after it has extended an offer of employment to an applicant. The Law covers all public employers regardless of size and private employers with 6 or more employees (NH Rev. Stat. Sec. 354-A:1 et seq.).
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State law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow physical agility and fitness tests at the application stage. A physical agility test demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform job-related functions and is not considered a medical examination under the ADA. An example of a fitness test would be a lifting test that screens applicants for a job involving heavy lifting.
If physiological or biological responses are measured, the test is considered a medical exam and may not be administered to applicants under ADA guidelines unless a job offer has been made. If an applicant with a disability is screened out with a physical examination, the employer must be able to show that use of the test is job related and consistent with business necessity.
Qualification standard. Under a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, an employer that denies employment based on a medical qualification standard must prove that the standard "fairly and accurately measures the individual's actual ability" to perform the essential functions of the job in question. The employer must also prove that there is no reasonable accommodation that would allow the applicant to safely perform the job ...

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