The components of any company’s pre employment physical may vary widely, depending on the industry, federally mandated requirements, the physical demands of the job, and the company’s own written policies.
A pre employment physical can accompany drug and alcohol testing. In certain safety-sensitive jobs, such as commercial transportation, the federal Department of Transportation requires drug testing, and those applying for a commercial driver’s license must pass a physical that meets DOT minimum requirements.
Employers don’t need to have safety-sensitive jobs to add a pre employment physical to their company’s policies, but under the Americans With Disabilities Act, they can’t request an exam before making an offer of employment. Also, they can’t single you out for a physical. There must be a policy to test everyone or no one for a position.
The ADA also provides protection for those with certain conditions, to prevent discriminatory hiring practices.
Typically, employers requesting pre employment physical exams have agreements in place with workplace medical specialists, such as Occupational Medicine of the Rockies. When a job candidate progresses to the point of a job offer, the employer may refer the candidate to the occupational medicine partner. The medical provider should have details about what exams and tests are relevant to various job positions.
If you’re offered a job with a pre employment physical as a condition, you can expect to provide samples of urine, stool, and blood for both medical and drug testing. Saliva and breath samples may be taken to check for alcohol levels.
The requirements of a physical exam may vary, depending on the job in question. Typically, you’d only have an employment offer withdrawn due to your physical if it shows clearly that you’re unable to physically perform the routine tasks that accompany this job. For example, lifting certain amounts of weight may be required for a job as a firefighter, while someone who experiences uncontrolled seizures isn’t suitable for driving jobs or the operation of heavy equipment.
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