29 CFR 1630.14 - Medical examinations and inquiries specifically permitted.

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§ 1630.14 Medical examinations and inquiries specifically permitted.

(a) Acceptable pre-employment inquiry. A covered entity may make pre-employment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions, and/or may ask an applicant to describe or to demonstrate how, with or without reasonable accommodation, the applicant will be able to perform job-related functions.

(b) Employment entrance examination. A covered entity may require a medical examination (and/or inquiry) after making an offer of employment to a job applicant and before the applicant begins his or her employment duties, and may condition an offer of employment on the results of such examination (and/or inquiry), if all entering employees in the same job category are subjected to such an examination (and/or inquiry) regardless of disability.

(1) Information obtained under paragraph (b) of this section regarding the medical condition or history of the applicant shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and be treated as a confidential medical record, except that:

(i) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;

(ii) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and

(iii) Government officials investigating compliance with this part shall be provided relevant information on request.

(2) The results of such examination shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with this part.

(3) Medical examinations conducted in accordance with this section do not have to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. However, if certain criteria are used to screen out an employee or employees with disabilities as a result of such an examination or inquiry, the exclusionary criteria must be job-related and consistent with business necessity, and performance of the essential job functions cannot be accomplished with reasonable accommodation as required in this part. (See § 1630.15(b) Defenses to charges of discriminatory application of selection criteria.)

(c) Examination of employees. A covered entity may require a medical examination (and/or inquiry) of an employee that is job-related and consistent with business necessity. A covered entity may make inquiries into the ability of an employee to perform job-related functions.

(1) Information obtained under paragraph (c) of this section regarding the medical condition or history of any employee shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and be treated as a confidential medical record, except that:

(i) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;

(ii) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and

(iii) Government officials investigating compliance with this part shall be provided relevant information on request.

(2) Information obtained under paragraph (c) of this section regarding the medical condition or history of any employee shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with this part.

(d) Other acceptable examinations and inquiries. A covered entity may conduct voluntary medical examinations and activities, including voluntary medical histories, which are part of an employee health program available to employees at the work site.

(1) Employee health program. An employee health program, including any disability-related inquiries or medical examinations that are part of such program, must be reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease. A program satisfies this standard if it has a reasonable chance of improving the health of, or preventing disease in, participating employees, and it is not overly burdensome, is not a subterfuge for violating the ADA or other laws prohibiting employment discrimination, and is not highly suspect in the method chosen to promote health or prevent disease. A program consisting of a measurement, test, screening, or collection of health-related information without providing results, follow-up information, or advice designed to improve the health of participating employees is not reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease, unless the collected information actually is used to design a program that addresses at least a subset of the conditions identified. A program also is not reasonably designed if it exists mainly to shift costs from the covered entity to targeted employees based on their health or simply to give an employer information to estimate future health care costs. Whether an employee health program is reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease is evaluated in light of all the relevant facts and circumstances.

(2) Voluntary. An employee health program that includes disability-related inquiries or medical examinations (including disability-related inquiries or medical examinations that are part of a health risk assessment) is voluntary as long as a covered entity:

(i) Does not require employees to participate;

(ii) Does not deny coverage under any of its group health plans or particular benefits packages within a group health plan for non-participation, or limit the extent of benefits (except as allowed under paragraph (d)(3) of this section) for employees who do not participate;

(iii) Does not take any adverse employment action or retaliate against, interfere with, coerce, intimidate, or threaten employees within the meaning of Section 503 of the ADA, codified at 42 U.S.C. 12203; and

(iv) Provides employees with a notice that:

(A) Is written so that the employee from whom medical information is being obtained is reasonably likely to understand it;

(B) Describes the type of medical information that will be obtained and the specific purposes for which the medical information will be used; and

(C) Describes the restrictions on the disclosure of the employee's medical information, the employer representatives or other parties with whom the information will be shared, and the methods that the covered entity will use to ensure that medical information is not improperly disclosed (including whether it complies with the measures set forth in the HIPAA regulations codified at 45 CFR parts 160 and 164).

(3) Incentives offered for employee wellness programs. The use of incentives (financial or in-kind) in an employee wellness program, whether in the form of a reward or penalty, will not render the program involuntary if the maximum allowable incentive available under the program (whether the program is a participatory program or a health-contingent program, or some combination of the two, as those terms are defined in regulations at 26 CFR 54.9802-1(f)(1)(ii) and (iii), 29 CFR 2590.702(f)(1)(ii) and (iii), and 45 CFR 146.121(f)(1)(ii) and (iii), respectively) does not exceed:

(i) Thirty percent of the total cost of self-only coverage (including both the employee's and employer's contribution) of the group health plan in which the employee is enrolled when participation in the wellness program is limited to employees enrolled in the plan;

(ii) Thirty percent of the total cost of self-only coverage under the covered entity's group health plan, where the covered entity offers only one group health plan and participation in a wellness program is offered to all employees regardless of whether they are enrolled in the plan;

(iii) Thirty percent of the total cost of the lowest cost self-only coverage under a major medical group health plan where the covered entity offers more than one group health plan but participation in the wellness program is offered to employees whether or not they are enrolled in a particular plan; and

(iv) Thirty percent of the cost of self-only coverage under the second lowest cost Silver Plan for a 40-year-old non-smoker on the state or federal health care Exchange in the location that the covered entity identifies as its principal place of business if the covered entity does not offer a group health plan or group health insurance coverage.

(4)

(i) Confidentiality. Information obtained under paragraph (d) of this section regarding the medical condition or history of any employee shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and be treated as a confidential medical record, except that:

(A) Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;

(B) First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment; and

(C) Government officials investigating compliance with this part shall be provided relevant information on request.

(ii) Information obtained under paragraph (d) of this section regarding the medical condition or history of any employee shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with this part.

(iii) Except as permitted under paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section and as is necessary to administer the health plan, information obtained under this paragraph (d) regarding the medical information or history of any individual may only be provided to an ADA covered entity in aggregate terms that do not disclose, or are not reasonably likely to disclose, the identity of any employee.

(iv) A covered entity shall not require an employee to agree to the sale, exchange, sharing, transfer, or other disclosure of medical information (except to the extent permitted by this part to carry out specific activities related to the wellness program), or to waive any confidentiality protections in this part as a condition for participating in a wellness program or for earning any incentive the covered entity offers in connection with such a program.

(5) Compliance with the requirements of this paragraph (d), including the limit on incentives under the ADA, does not relieve a covered entity from the obligation to comply in all respects with the nondiscrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. 2000ff, et seq., or other sections of Title I of the ADA.

(6) The “safe harbor” provisions in § 1630.16(f) of this part applicable to health insurance, life insurance, and other benefit plans do not apply to wellness programs, even if such plans are part of a covered entity's health plan.

[56 FR 35734, July 26, 1991, as amended at 81 FR 31139, May 17, 2016]

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE