If your company is hiring warehouse associates, you may wonder if pre-employment health screening is a smart idea. The correct answer depends. Here’s a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of pre-employment health screening in Buffalo, New York.
What Is Pre-Employment Health Screening?
Pre-employment examinations may include physical exams as well as health inquiries including drug and alcohol tests, psychological tests, and physical or mental health assessments. (The Balance Careers, 2019) Keep in mind, pre-employment health screening is different than asking about someone’s ability to perform certain job functions. For example, you could ask an applicant to describe or demonstrate how they would lift a 50-pound box. This is NOT a health screening.
What Are the Rules?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers can only require a medical exam after extending a job offer. And, they should be able to tie the necessity of the physical exam to specific job duties. Furthermore, all applicants for the same job must undergo the same testing. These guidelines are in place to protect workers against discrimination.
The ADA also states employers must consider hiring candidates with disabilities if “reasonable accommodations” would allow them to successfully complete the job. Finally, medical records and history are strictly confidential. Companies must keep this information separate from their other employment records.
The Benefits of Pre-Employment Health Screening
- Many organizations use health screening as part of the onboarding process. This lets them know if employees are physically and mentally fit for the job.
- Screenings may catch treatable conditions before workers become sick either on the job and/or from an undiagnosed condition.
- Overall screening results can inspire company-wide wellness incentives. These may include insurance-covered smoking cessations sessions and/or free onsite exercise programs.
- Organizations that are proactive about health and wellbeing often benefit from less absenteeism and higher productivity.
The Negatives of Pre-Employment Health Screening
- Before requiring pre-employment health screenings, organizations must be aware of and comply with all applicable laws including Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Mismanaged pre-employment health screenings have led to many legal battles.
- Businesses have a history of unfairly testing women, minorities, and the elderly.
- Although laws vary by state, best practices require employers to pay for the cost of the exam.
- If a candidate suffers an injury during a physical ability test, the company may be liable.
Is Your Organization Looking for More Pre-Employment Screening Advice?
Metrodata Services, Inc. is Western New York’s leading background screening provider. We’ll help you navigate all the rules and regulations so you can add only the best-fit candidates to your warehouse team. Learn more about the pre-employment services we offer today!