Do I still have to take the employment entrance examination if I have a letter from my doctor clearing me for work?

By Adrianna MacPherson | Last updated: April 6, 2023

An employment entrance examination is a pre-employment testing process that may include physical, psychological or other exams. An employer may require a prospective employee to undergo testing as a condition of employment. In some instances, the exam may be used determine whether the employee can meet the physical requirements of the job being offered. In this case, the exam may be referred to as a fit-to-work assessment or fit for work test.

Unlike a return to duty fitness test, a pre-employment medical examination is a post-offer but pre-placement exam. A potential employee who has been offered a position may be rejected for employment based on the results of this testing. If uniformly applied to all employees, Federal law does not require this testing to be directly related to the position being offered. The employer is also not limited to testing only for those skills that are necessary to perform the proposed job. However, testing may not be used to identify and eliminate employees with disabilities (Learn more in "The Importance of Determining an Employee's Pre-Existing Injuries").

Federal law, 29 CFR 1630.14 governs employment entrance examinations in the United States. Pursuant to this law, an employer may require employees to take a medical exam if all similarly situation employees are required to take the same exam. Because each employee must take the same set of tests and exams, a prospective employee may not substitute a letter from a private physician to be cleared for work.

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