ADA Blog


ADA Blog #12

Can you ask an existing employee to complete a questionnaire about their health conditions and medications?

The ADA limits the circumstances under which an employer may ask questions about an employee's medical condition or require the employee to have a medical examination. When it comes to existing employees, an employer generally can only ask medical questions or require a medical exam if the employer:

a) needs medical documentation to support an employee's request for an accommodation;

b) believes that an employee is not able to perform a job successfully or safely because of a medical condition; or

c) believes that the employee may pose a direct threat to safety because of a medical condition.

In Baltimore, EEOC brought a lawsuit against Fisher, Collins & Carter who fired two employees because they had diabetes and hypertension. According to the lawsuit, the company asked several employees to complete a questionnaire about their health conditions and medications. One employee had worked for 15 years for the company and another had been employed since 2000. The lawsuit asserts that despite their years of successful performance, they were selected for a reduction in force based on their disabilities (EEOC v. Fisher, Collins & Carter, Case No. 10-cv-2453 (D. Md.)).