Question: May an employer make disability-related inquiries or conduct medical examinations that are part of its voluntary employee wellness program?
Answer: Yes, according to the EEOC Enforcement Guidance: disability related inquiries and medical examinations of employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA allows employers to conduct voluntary medical examinations and activities, including voluntary medical histories, which are part of an employee health program without having to show that they are job-related and consistent with business necessity, as long as any medical records acquired as part of the wellness program are kept confidential and separate from personnel records. These programs often include blood pressure screening, cholesterol testing, glaucoma testing, and cancer detection screening. Employees may be asked disability-related questions and may be given medical examinations pursuant to such voluntary wellness programs.
A wellness program is “voluntary” as long as an employer neither requires participation nor penalizes employees who do not participate.
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