Pre-Employment Medical Examination

Definition - What does Pre-Employment Medical Examination mean?

The pre-employment medical examination is part of the employment process and may include a drug test and/or a physical examination. This is ordinarily the last thing a person must have before starting a new job. While administered to assure safety in the workplace, care must be taken to avoid using the information for discriminatory purposes.

WorkplaceTesting explains Pre-Employment Medical Examination

The pre-employment medical examination is often part of the employment process and can include a drug test as well as a complete physical examination. This is usually the last hurdle a worker must pass before officially being hired in a job.

The examination is primarily used for safety in the workplace. It often happens that the individual may not be aware of a certain condition, and the examination brings this to his or her attention. It enables that person to take necessary steps to correct health concerns and prevents employers from unknowingly putting the new employee or existing employees in danger.

There must be a valid job-related reason for such an examination. Care must be taken with the results of the pre-employment examination, and all information has to be kept confidential (the person undergoing the examination has the right to know the results). Information may not be used to discriminate against a pregnant applicant, a person with disabilities, or someone who qualifies for protection under the Age Discrimination Act. Moreover, any pre-existing medical conditions which are uncovered by the examination may not be used to discriminate against the job applicant. The examination also has to be administered to every applicant at the same stage of employment negotiations, regardless of the position they will be assuming.

There must be a valid concern that an individual medical condition will have direct impact on job performance. For example, certain drugs used for recreation purposes may alter decision-making or work performance. While a job offer contingent on the examination results can be withdrawn, this can only be done so if there is a definite job-related reason, which may include the employer not being able to provide a reasonable accommodation. Drug tests may be covered under the American Disabilities Act if the results uncover a disability. In addition to federal law, various states also have regulations in place defining what may or may not be allowed in a pre-employment medical examination.


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