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Contractor Asks: Are Pre-Employment Physical Exams Legal? Depends.

Best Practices Construction Law (02/24/12) Matt DeVries

Construction contractors increasingly want to implement pre-employment physical exams to ensure applicants are physically capable of performing the job and to minimize the chances the company will have to defend a workers’ compensation claim. To comply with both state and federal law, however, certain conditions must be met. An offer of employment should be made, contingent on the results of a subsequent physical; the physical should focus only on the job-related abilities that are key to the job; and the physical should be required of everyone who is contingently offered the job.

If the physical finds there is a limitation and the company decides to withdraw the contingent offer of employment, it must notify the applicant within 10 days of the decision to withdraw and must give a medical basis for withdrawing the offer.