[IPAC-List] Medical testing to assess fitness to take physical abiltiiy test

Jim Kuthy jkuthy at biddle.com
Thu Jun 3 17:20:53 EDT 2010

We were recently approached by a client who wants to administer a
post-offer medical exam to determine whether job candidates are
physically fit enough to safely take a work-sample physical ability
test. (They are very worried about unfit candidates suffering medical
consequences while taking the physical ability test).

Part of the medical exam consists of a "step test" to measure cardiac
fitness. One of the job tasks includes carrying 30-pound tool bags up
several flights of steps (a maximum of five flights of steps), which
would appear to require cardiac fitness. The work-sample physical
ability test is proposed to include an exercise which requires job
candidates to lift and carry a 30-pound weight for 100 feet to simulate
the climbing of stairs. (This national employer tests at multiple
locations around the country and does not wish to have to build sets of
stairs to measure a person's ability to climb stairs while carrying the
weighed tool bag, so instead wants to test candidates on a flat
surface). However, they are fearful that unfit candidates may injure
themselves while performing this physical ability test exercise, and
thus want to measure cardiac fitness prior to testing.

Can an employer measure cardiac fitness using a medically-based step
test to determine whether a job candidate is sufficiently fit to perform
a carrying task during pre-employment testing (which has been validated
in accordance with the Uniform Guidelines) if the medically-based step
test itself has not been validated in accordance with the Uniform


Jim Kuthy, Ph.D.

Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.

Principal Consultant and Director of Product Development

CritiCall Pre-Employment Testing Software

193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 270, Folsom, CA 95630

Voice: 916-294-4250 Fax: 916-294-4255

Toll Free: 800-999-0438 extension 239

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