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Employer Information

Preemployment Application

An effective preemployment application is a basic and important prerequisite to establishing an effective workers' compensation program. You must know your employees and be aware of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you should be aware of pre- and post-employment inquiries of employees and whether or not they apply to your case. The ADA is a federally mandated anti-disability discrimination statute relating to employers with more than fifteen employees. Those employers with fewer than fifteen employees are not subject to the ADA.

For purposes of the ADA, there are three distinct categories of medical inquiries of your employees and applicants for employment: The first is the preemployment stage prior to an offer of employment. The second occurs after the job offer has been extended, but before the actual date of employment. The third relates to the types of inquiries an employer can make of a current employee. In general, employers are not permitted to make preemployment inquiries which would require a prospective employee to divulge medical information or history. However, an employer may inquire regarding a prospective employee's ability to perform specific tasks associated with the job. It is advisable to get assistance from an attorney or human resources specialist when drafting an employment application or preparing for an interview of a job applicant.

If you are an employer with fewer than fifteen employees, you are not subject to the ADA, but you should be aware of your employees who have physical problems because of the tasks that you may require them to do. You can gain knowledge about your employees through a variety of techniques, including the employment application, medical screening, questionnaires, interviews, background checks, friends, etc. By inquiring about preexisting impairments, disabilities or medical problems, you can avoid placing an individual in a position of employment wherein he could endanger himself or others.

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