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And Another Thing...

Question: During an interview, is an employer permitted to ask a potential employee medical questions such as, “Do you have high blood pressure”?

Answer: According to the EEOC under the regulations of the Americans with Disability Act, employers may not ask disability-related questions. Employers should not directly ask a potential employee if they have high blood pressure. However, employers may ask certain questions that are job related and still complaint with the EEOC Guidelines.

Employers may ask about an applicant's ability to perform specific job functions.

For example: An employer may state the physical requirements of a job, or share the job description with the physical demands listed. Employers can ask direct questions such as, “Can you lift up to 50 pounds? Can you climb high steps? Can you open shoulder height windows?”

Employers may ask about an applicant's qualifications and skills, such as the applicant's education, work history, and required certifications and licenses, and provide a written exam for the potential employee to complete during the interview.

For example: The employer can require the applicant to complete an exam that tests knowledge on software such as Microsoft Products, if prior knowledge of that software is a requirement of the position. Employers can also verify that an applicant can pass an exam for a necessary license by showing a copy of the exam they will need to complete.

Employers may ask applicants to describe or demonstrate how they would perform job tasks.

For example: “Let’s take a walk into the work area and I can show you a little bit of what the job entails. Can you open that window? Can you lift that box up onto the shelf? Can you refill that container in the bottom drawer?”

This part of the interview process would also be a good time to describe any background, state physicals parameters, and/or drug testing an applicant would have to pass to obtain a position at the company. The employer can ask if the potential employee would be able to pass these types of tests.

Have additional questions on this topic or others? Call RC Kelly Law Associates at 215-896-3846 or email help@rckelly.com.



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