[IPAC-List] Complying With ADA and OSHA on Performance Tests

Warren Bobrow warren at allaboutperformance.biz
Tue Aug 3 16:34:19 EDT 2010

Hello IPACers,

I have an odd situation and I'm curious to hear how you've dealt with it in the past.

The job analysis indicates the need for a performance test, part of which requires the candidate to wear a respirator, as the person would do on the job during essential job functions. OSHA requirements for a person to wear a respirator when performing the job functions include a physical examination (good for one year) to show that the person is physically able to work while wearing the respirator. Without going into all of the details, this is a medical exam, not just getting an note from a doctor that I look OK to do this.

Of course, according to ADA a pre-offer medical examination is illegal. However, the ADA enforcement guidelines do indicate that asking for certification from a physician before a person participates in a physical abilities test is OK.

So, here are my questions:

Given that any candidate would have to pass the respirator physical to perform essential functions if s/he got hired:

Does having the candidate pass the respirator physical to take the pre-employment performance test violate the "no pre-employment physical" portion of ADA?


Does it fall more into the "certification" guidelines in that they are getting the medical OK to perform a performance test?

Any case law or experiences would be appreciated.



Warren Bobrow, Ph.D.
All About Performance, LLC
(310) 670-4175

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