What MN law says about pre-employment medical, non-medical tests

Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, it is illegal for any employer to require or even request that job applicants furnish information relating to their age, color, creed, disability, familial status, marital status, national origin, race, receipt of public assistance, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Indeed, this prohibition covers pre-employment screening mechanisms from application forms to interviews.

In fact, it's important to understand that this protection against discriminatory tactics under state law extends beyond just paperwork and conference rooms.

For example, while employers are permitted to administer medical examinations and/or non-medical examinations to prospective employees, they must abide by certain requirements under state law.

Medical examinations

An employer can require or request that a prospective employee submit to a physical examination (including medical history) in order to ascertain whether he or she is physically capable of performing the job. However, the following elements must be satisfied:

  • An offer of employment has already been extended and otherwise conditioned on the passing of the examination
  • Only essential, job-related abilities are assessed during the examination
  • Information derived from the examination is collected and maintained separately, and treated as a confidential medical record
  • All persons extended an offer for the position are required to take the same examination, regardless of disability

Non-medical examinations

An employer can require or request that a prospective employee submit to a non-medical examination in order to ascertain whether he or she is capable of performing the job -- regardless of whether a conditional offer of employment has been extended. However, the following elements must be satisfied:

  • All applicants for the position are required to take the same examination
  • Only essential, job-related abilities are assessed during the examination
  • The examination is structured in such a way that it accurately measures achievement and/or aptitude, rather than emphasizing any deficiencies in speaking, manual or sensory skills, unless these are the skills the examination is designed to measure

It's imperative for those prospective employees who believe that they have been victimized by discriminatory tactics on the part of an employer to understand that they have rights and they have options for seeking justice.