Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do you know? Charging for pre-employment medical exam

The Americans with Disabilities Act sets limits on when and how employers can ask applicants or employees medical questions. At the pre-employment stage, an employer is allowed to ask any medical questions and conduct medical examinations, as long as two conditions are met: 1) it does so for all entering employees in the same job category; and 2) the applicant has been provided a conditional job offer and has not yet started working.

A question sometimes arises to whether an employer must pay for a pre-employment medical exam. The ADA and Ohio’s parallel law are oddly silent on this issue, which leads me to conclude that an Ohio employer can require an applicant to bear the cost of the medical exam.

The bigger question, though, is whether you want to charge job applicants for medical exams in the first place, of if you want to eat those costs as part of recruitment and hiring. Because the overwhelming majority of employers choose the latter, passing the costs onto applicants could pose real problems in recruiting quality employees.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.

For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.