The Catholic University of America

ADA Guidelines

Employment Tests/Medical Exams

Employment Tests: The employer must ascertain whether any employment tests have an adverse impact on disabled employees. If so, there is a need to determine whether the tests are job related and consistent with business necessity. If possible, alternative job-related tests that do not have an adverse impact should be used. The employer must consider what accommodations are needed to allow disabled persons to take the employment test, and notify applicants of alternative testing available. An example might be making a written test available in large print or Braille for a person with visions problems, or giving a person with dyslexia a longer period of time in which to complete the test. Specific learning disabilities are considered disabilities under the law and reasonable accommodations for those who have medically documented learning disabilities should be made in the employment testing process.

Medical Exams: Medial exams are prohibited at the pre-offer stage. A medical exam is a procedure or test that seeks information about an individual's physical or mental impairments or health. Once a job offer is made, it may be conditioned upon the results of a medical exam as long as all entering employees in the same job category are subjected to the same examination regardless of disability. Medical information must be kept confidential. Medical exams are not commonly used at CUA. The following factors should be used to determine whether a procedure or test is considered a medical exam, and thus prohibited at the pre-offer stage.

  • Is it administered by a health care professional or someone trained by a health care professional?

  • Are the results interpreted by a health care professional or someone trained by a health care professional?

  • Is it designed to reveal impairment of physical or mental health?

  • Is the employer trying to determine the applicant's physical or mental health or impairments?

  • Is it invasive (for example, does it require the drawing of blood, urine or breath)?

  • Does it measure an applicant's performance of a task, or does it measure the applicant's physiological responses to performing the task?

  • Is it normally given in a medical setting?

Other Tests: An employer may require applicants to take physical agility tests, or physical fitness tests. Further, an employer may request physician certification that the applicant can safely perform the test. Psychological exams may be given as long as they do not provide evidence that would lead to identifying a mental disorder. The ADA allows testing for the current illegal use of controlled substances, but does not allow testing for alcohol consumption. Questions should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.


Source: 29 C.F.R. § 1630.10; 29 C.F.R. § 1630.13 et seq.; 34 C.F.R. § 104.13; 29 C.F.R. Part 1630 Appendix; 41 C.F.R. § 60-741.21; 32 C.F.R. § 56.8; and 40 C.F.R. § 7.60.

Updated 10-21-02 to clarify links.
Links updated 5/29/08 rab

page vetted 2/198/09 mlo (EEOC Enforcement Guidances removed as they are being vetted agains the ADAAA)