The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE ON DISABILITY-RELATED INQUIRIES AND MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF EMPLOYEES UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)

This guidance document was issued upon approval of the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

OLC Control #EEOC-NVTA-2000-1
TitleQuestions and Answers: Enforcement Guidance on Disability Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Date Issued27-Jul-00
General TopicsADA/GINA
SummaryThis document provides summary explanations of what is contained in the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance about the ADA rules for when employers may and may not obtain medical information about their employees.
Date Posted27-Jul-00
Statutes/Authorities InvolvedADA, Rehabilitation Act, 29 CFR Part 1630
AudienceHealth Care Providers, Employees, Employers, Applicants, HR Practitioners
RevisionNo

The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

Notice Concerning The Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act Of 2008

This document was issued prior to enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which took effect on January 1, 2009.  The ADAAA broadened the statutory definition of disability, as summarized in this list of specific changes.

INTRODUCTION

What does this Guidance address?

Why did the EEOC issue this Guidance?

To whom does the Guidance apply?

IN GENERAL

Are the rules about when an employer may make disability-related inquiries and require medical examinations the same for employees and applicants? (Introduction) (For more information about this and other issues discussed in these Questions and Answers, please consult the referenced question numbers from the Guidance.)

What is a "disability-related inquiry"? (Question 1)

What is a "medical examination"? (Question 2)

Are there any procedures or tests employers may require that would not be considered medical examinations? (Question 2)

JOB RELATED AND CONSISTENT WITH BUSINESS NECESSITY

When may an employer ask an employee a disability-related question or require an employee to submit to a medical examination? (Question 5)

What should an employer do if it learns about an employee's medical condition from someone else? (Question 6)

May an employer ask all employees what prescription medications they are taking? (Question 8)

What may an employer do if it believes that an employee is having performance problems because of a medical condition, but the employee won't answer any questions or go to the doctor? (Question 9)

SCOPE AND MANNER OF INQUIRIES AND EXAMINATIONS

May an employer have an employee who is requesting a reasonable accommodation examined by its own health care provider? (Question 11)

May an employer have an employee who it reasonably believes will pose a direct threat examined by its own health care provider? (Question 12)

DISABILITY-RELATED INQUIRIES AND MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS RELATED TO LEAVE

May an employer request that an employee provide a doctor's note or other explanation when the employee has used sick leave? (Question 15)

May an employer ask disability-related questions or require a medical examination when an employee who has been on leave for a medical condition wants to return to work? (Question 17)

PERIODIC MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND TESTING

May employers require employees to have periodic medical examinations? (Question 18)

May employers subject employees to periodic alcohol testing? (Question 19)


This page was last modified on May 09, 2019.

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