New Jersey Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Physical Exams: What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability. The NJLAD covers all employers, regardless of size (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-1et seq.).
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According to rules issued by the state Division on Civil Rights, employers may require applicants to undergo a physical examination as long as:
• The exam is given after an offer of employment has been made;
• The exam is given to all applicants in the same job category; and
• The job offer is withdrawn only if the disability discovered precludes the safe performance of the job's essential functions (NJ Admin. Code Sec. 13:13-2.4 (2)).
An employer may require an employee to submit to a physical exam if the employee has been injured or is returning to work after an illness and has received workers' compensation as a result.
NJLAD specifically prohibits bias by employers based on genetic information or because an individual refuses to submit to genetic testing or make available the results of genetic tests. NJLAD also incorporates the Genetic Privacy Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information and requires informed consent from an individual before testing for genetic information or otherwise obtaining the information (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-43et seq.).
Federal law. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants on the basis of genetic information about employees, applicants, or their family members. GINA applies to all public employers, private employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor organizations.
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