The EEOC, ADA, and Physical Capability Employment Screening

Employers have the right to legally refuse employment to an applicant who fails a strength and agility test specifically designed for matching workers to their physical job demands.

The Code of Federal Regulations1 addresses strength and agility testing and the rights of employers to use such testing for pre-employment evaluation. It is absolutely acceptable to require a candidate to Employee Agreement demonstrate that s/he may be able to perform the required (essential) functions of the job (29 CFR  1630.14(a)). The EEOC has published guidelines which create a foundation of what must take place during a physical agility test in order to be acceptable.. CRT's pre-employment, pre-offer, testing is not considered a medical examination and can be administered before any contingent offer of employment is conveyed to an applicant. If a prospective employee simply fails a pre-employment strength and agility test, the employer owes no duty of any kind. This interpretation of the ADA was upheld by the Supreme Court in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Echazabal (226 F .3d 1063 (2002)).

It is important to consider that entities are less likely to be challenged with a claim of discrimination if there are clear grounds for denying employment. By having the specific job requirements outlined (using credible job task analyses of each job classification), and a CRT test result showing the prospective employee incapable of performance, there is a clear paper trail to support the decision not to hire. Without having performed physical agility testing, there is no concrete evidence that the decision not to hire is based on a lack of ability versus age, sex, or a perceived disability. It is much safer to have an objective, valid, and consistent strength and agility test to establish conclusively that the candidate is not capable of performing the essential, physical job demands.

Please review CRTs various legal interpretations for further insight. CRT's opinions are not to be construed as legal advice. Employers are encouraged to consult their respective legal counsel for guidance.

1 CFR, specific to Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (29 CFR ยง 1630).

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