West Virginia Physical Exams laws & HR compliance analysis

West Virginia Physical Exams: What you need to know

The West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of blindness or disability (WV Code Sec. 5-11-1 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with 12 or more employees.
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The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers employers with 15 or more employees. The state and the ADA allow physical agility and fitness tests at the application stage. A fitness 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 for a job that requires heavy lifting.
If physiological or biological responses are measured, the test is considered a medical exam and is not permitted under the ADA until after a conditional offer of employment is made. If an applicant with a disability is screened out with a medical examination, the employer must be able to show that use of the test is job related and consistent with business necessity. Additional information is available.
State law and the ADA have similar restrictions for medical exams.
Applicants. State law and the ADA allow employers to require medical exams for both applicants and employees, but with certain restrictions. Employers may not require applicants to undergo an exam before a job offer has been made. However, once an offer has been made and before an applicant begins work, an employer may require an exam and condition the job offer on the exam results, provided:
• The exam is given to all applicants who have been offered jobs in the same job category, regardless of disability; and
• Information gathered during the exam is maintained on separate forms and in separate files, and is treated as a confidential medical record.

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