When it comes to asking about medical records, both employers and employees need to know the rules and restrictions. While you want your workers to be able to do their jobs successfully—without harming themselves or their colleagues—employees have privacy rights. Some inquiries, requests, and medical examinations are unlawful, so employers must take care. To ensure you’re running your business securely and efficiently, here’s our guide to what employers can ask about medical conditions and history.
What Can Employers Ask about Medical Conditions?
In general, employers can ask about medical conditions and records if the question relates to the job. For example, a job that requires a lot of physical activity might have questions about lifting a certain amount of weight or standing for hours at a time. If this is the case, employers must ask the same questions for every applicant. The same rule applies to any medical examinations. If it’s related to the job or the applicant’s ability to perform successfully, and it’s required for all potential employees, it’s perfectly legal.
Employers can also ask about medical conditions in order to create a more accessible workplace. If an employee requests certain adjustments or accommodation, an employer may require medical documentation to support the request. Employers may also ask for these records if they have reason to believe the employee has a medical condition that keeps them from performing their job safely and successfully.
Secure and Confidential Records
To protect workers, federal law also requires employers to keep their employees’ medical records secure. This information must be stored in confidential and separate medical files for each employee. In order to help protect their employees’ information—and ensure that the company follows federal regulations—many companies hire healthcare and immunization tracker services to keep their records organized. Professional Screening and Information helps businesses store employee records in a safe and easy-to-use system, allowing employers to put their energy toward the other aspects of running a business.