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Employer’s Demand for Medical Examination Could be Construed as Discriminatory

At this year’s Annual Labor and Employment Law Seminar, we will discuss the employer’s duty to accommodate employees with disabilities under the ADA and what employer actions may be considered discriminatory.  You may register for the free seminar here. Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case regarding the employer’s right to obtain a medical examination and how the demand for a medical examination could constitute disability discrimination.

In Kroll v. White Lake Ambulance Authority, Case No. 13-1774, 2014 WL 4067748, a paramedic was observed by her supervisor behaving erratically.  The supervisor believed that the paramedic was in need of psychological counseling and/or treatment, and told her that she could not continue with her employment unless she obtained counseling.  The paramedic advised her supervisor that she was unable to afford counseling and resigned from her position.  She later brought a claim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, arguing that the required medical exam was not sufficiently related to her job or consistent with the business’ needs.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and held that before requiring an employee to undergo a medical examination, the reason for the exam must be based on reasonable facts that show the employee’s essential job functions were impaired, or that she objectively posed a direct threat to her own safety or others.  You can read the full opinion here.

If you have any questions about this case or the application of the ADA, please contact one of our employment lawyers.  Click here for their contact information.

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