Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 2, § 11071 - Medical and Psychological Examinations and Inquiries

Current through Register 2022 Notice Reg. No. 14, April 8, 2022

(a) Pre-offer. It is unlawful for an employer or other covered entity to conduct a medical or psychological examination or inquiries of an applicant before an offer of employment is extended to that applicant. A medical or psychological examination includes a procedure or test that seeks information about an individual's physical or mental conditions or health but does not include testing for current illegal drug use.
(b) Post-Offer. An employer or other covered entity may condition a bona fide offer of employment on the results of a medical or psychological examination or inquiries conducted prior to the employee's entrance on duty in order to determine fitness for the job in question. For a job offer to be bona fide, an employer must have either completed all non-medical components of its application process or be able to demonstrate that it could not reasonably have done so before issuing the offer, provided that:
(1) All entering employees in similar positions are subjected to such an examination.
(2) Where the results of such medical or psychological examination would result in disqualification, an applicant or employee may submit independent medical opinions for consideration before a final determination on disqualification is made.
(3) The results are to be maintained on separate forms and shall be accorded confidentiality as medical records.
(c) Withdrawal of Offer. An employer or other covered entity may withdraw an offer of employment based on the results of a medical or psychological examination or inquiries only if it is determined that the applicant is unable to perform the essential duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, or that the applicant with or without reasonable accommodation would endanger the health or safety of the applicant or of others.
(d) Medical and Psychological Examinations and Disability-Related Inquiries during Employment.
(1) An employer or other covered entity may make disability-related inquiries, including fitness for duty exams, and require medical examinations of employees so long as the inquiries are both job-related and consistent with business necessity.
(2) Drug or Alcohol Testing. An employer or other covered entity may maintain and enforce rules prohibiting employees from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the workplace and may conduct alcohol or drug testing for this purpose if they have a reasonable belief that an employee may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work.
(A) Current Drug Use. An applicant or employee who currently engages in the use of illegal drugs or uses medical marijuana is not protected as a qualified individual under the FEHA when the employer acts on the basis of such use, and questions about current illegal drug use are not disability-related inquiries.
(B) Past Addiction. Questions about past addiction to illegal drugs or questions about whether an employee ever has participated in a rehabilitation program are disability-related because past drug addiction generally is a disability. Individuals who were addicted to drugs, but are not currently using illegal drugs are protected under the FEHA from discrimination because of their disability.
(3) Other Acceptable Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees
(A) Employee Assistance Program. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor may ask an employee seeking help for personal problems about any physical or mental condition(s) the employee may have if the counselor:
(1) does not act for or on behalf of the employer;
(2) is obligated to shield any information the employee reveals from decision makers;
(3) has no power to affect employment decisions; and
(4) discloses these provisions to the employee.
(B) Compliance with another Federal or State Law or Regulation. An employer may make disability-related inquiries and require employees to submit to medical examinations that are mandated or necessitated by other federal and/or state laws or regulations, such as medical examinations required at least once every two years under federal safety regulations for interstate bus and truck drivers or medical requirements for airline pilots.
(C) Voluntary Wellness Program. As part of a voluntary wellness program, employers may conduct voluntary medical examinations and activities, including taking voluntary medical histories, without having to show that they are job-related and consistent with business necessity, as long as any medical records acquired as part of the wellness program are kept confidential and separate from personnel records. These programs often include blood pressure screening, cholesterol testing, glaucoma testing, and cancer detection screening. Employees may be asked disability-related questions and may be given medical examinations pursuant to such voluntary wellness programs. A wellness program is voluntary as long as an employer neither requires participation nor penalizes employees who do not participate.
(4) Maintenance of Medical Files. Employers shall keep information obtained regarding the medical or psychological condition or history of the employee confidential, as set forth at section 11069(g).


Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 2, § 11071

Note: Authority cited: Section 12935(a), Government Code. Reference: Sections 12920, 12921, 12926, 12926.1 and 12940, Government Code.

1. Change without regulatory effect renumbering former section 7294.2 to new section 11071 and amending section filed 10-3-2013 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2013, No. 40).
2. Amendment of subsections (d), (d)(1) and (d)(3)(B) filed 12-9-2015; operative 4-1-2016 (Register 2015, No. 50).

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