Employee Discrimination: Health Requirements for Employees

Business owners often never consider many of the facets of owning a company before they set out on their journey. From liability insurance to following employment laws, there are various things that a business owner has to quickly pick up on. Pre-screening and on-the-job testing are two of the nuances that most business owners never consider before being fully immersed in their new company. It’s important to note, however, that due to liability and productivity issues, these tests may need to be a serious consideration for a business owner.

Pre-Screening for Employment

Using pre-screening methods during the hiring process is a common and longtime used form of making sure an individual meets the qualifications required of a specific job. The bulk of pre-employment tests fall into the areas of drug testing and physical fitness testing. Both of these types of tests can help employers make their decisions on who to hire. For instance, if an employer had one position to fill and two applicants, one who tested positive for morphine use and one who didn’t, it would only make sense that they’d hire the applicant with a clean drug screen.

Physical fitness screenings are often only given for jobs that will place employees in strenuous situations. A person applying for a desk job, for instance, would likely never be subjected to this type of testing. Employees in certain industries are also often required to take follow-up random drug and physical screenings, and even in companies that don’t engage in this practice, employees may have to take a drug test before receiving workers’ compensation benefits after an injury.

Examples of Jobs with Screening Processes

There are a multitude of different industries where certain pre-employment tests, and even tests during employment, are the norm. When it comes to drug testing, a person is likely to be given pre-employment screening if they’re applying for a job that requires driving, construction or the handling of financially sensitive information. Many of the companies that require these tests before hiring may also perform random drug tests to ensure that employees continue to stay drug free. Most often these tests are ordered online with an online health lab, and then the employee has the lab work done at a local center. An example would be if a person applied for a job in Philadelphia that required pre-screening for drugs, then the employer would order the test online and print out a requisition form for the applicant. The applicant then would go to one of the lab’s local centers for blood work in Philadelphia where he would have blood drawn or a urine sample taken. The lab would call the employer within 24-48 hours with the results. If the applicant passed the test, a job offer would normally then be extended to them.

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There are also numerous careers out there that will require potential employees to take physical ability tests. This is to ensure that the potential employees are able to perform the tasks that will be required of them in their daily employment activities. Professions that require these tests range from police and probation officers to military and emergency medical personnel. Even adult entertainers have to undergo health tests, but these are usually just virology tests.

Is Pre-Employment and On-the-Job Testing Legal?

Unfortunately for employers who want to be vigilant in their hiring process, there are actually some legal issues related to pre-screenings. Depending on which state a business is located in, an employer may be breaking the law by engaging in certain drug test practices. In many states, for instance, a drug test isn’t legal unless an applicant is informed that it will be a part of the application process. Typically, though, reputable screening companies will be able to ensure compliance with the law.

Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act put a limit on the types of employment tests that can be given related to physical fitness. This is in an effort to prevent discrimination on account of a person’s disability. Once again, however, professional screening companies can ensure proper compliance. Usually, there is no problem as long as the screening is to check for the ability to handle tasks that are standard for the industry in question.

Pre-employment and random screening processes can be extremely beneficial for a company, but it’s important that the company follows all related laws while carrying out these tests. While there are usually ways to ensure the ability to perform these tests, there’s a fine line between typical employer practices and employee discrimination. As long as a business owner knows the laws specific to their locale and chooses a reliable company for lab tests, they shouldn’t run into any problems.

Having worked in management, Lisa Coleman shares her knowledge of pre-employment requirements. With the ease and convenience of online healthcare labs with nationwide convenient centers, from centers for blood work in Philadelphia to Los Angeles, the process and screening for pre-employment is now made much easier.

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