The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri recently alleging that Grisham Farm Products, Inc., violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The Complaint alleges that Grisham required an applicant to submit a three-page health history form with his job application or he would not be considered for the job.
Title I of the ADA prohibits employer from asking for pre-employment medical information that could cause the applicant to disclose or identify himself or herself as a person with a disability. The GINA is written to prevent genetic discrimination in employment and prohibits employers form requiring disclosure of genetic information, including medical histories of employment applicants or their families, except in limited circumstances.
Family medical history is included in the definition of genetic information because it is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of getting a disease, disorder, or condition in the future.
"Job applicants cannot be required to provide employers with their medical history prior to receiving a job offer," said James R. Neely, Jr., director of EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "Grisham Farm Products' intrusive health history form is among the most egregious we have seen."
More information is available at the EEOC’s website.
Inquiring about a job applicant’s medical condition or medical history during the pre-employment process is a rather large no-no. Should you have questions regarding what you can and cannot ask (or what you can or cannot be asked, if you are a job applicant), consult with a labor and employment attorney.