EEOC: Company’s “health history” form violated federal law

A Missouri-based farm products company violated the Americans with Disabilities and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Acts by requiring job applicants to complete a three-page health history form prior to being considered for employment.

The company, Grisham Farm Products, Inc., told one applicant that if the three-page health history form was not completed in its entirety, he would not be considered for any job with the company.

According to the EEOC, the form in question, if completed in its entirety, would have caused individuals to unwillingly reveal medical conditions and disabilities, which puts the form in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Furthermore, the form ran afoul of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) by requesting or requiring applicants to disclose genetic information, including medical histories, regarding themselves or their family members.

"Job applicants cannot be required to provide employers with their medical history prior to receiving a job offer," said James R. Neely, Jr., director of EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "Grisham Farm Products' intrusive health history form is among the most egregious we have seen."

In addition to the violations regarding their illegal health history forms, the EEOC also claims that Grisham Farm Products did not maintain or retain employment records and applications for employment, as required by law.

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 3/22/2016

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