Pre-Employment Physical - page 2

by barbyann 45,356 Views | 25 Comments

I have a friend who is concerned about a pre-employment physical. Does she have to tell them she has cardiomyopathy? What about medications? Do you need to give the complete list? How would a diagnosis like this effect chances of... Read More


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    Agree with Mike above! They don't need to know EVERYTHING! Check out this link-- What questions a prospective employer may and may not ask during an interview regarding disabilities:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html


    http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/0...r-6-2-million/
    Last edit by JerseyLilly on Oct 27, '09
    3rdcareerRN likes this.
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    If you do not disclose use of prescribed medications whose metabolites are included on the drug screen which is inevitably part of the PE, you will not be employed by that company.
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    my physical was changed to this tuesday and what is the physical re lifting entail?
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    I am so shocked with the comments made regarding this post. I can't believe that some threads have indicated not to tell the truth in fear of not getting the job in the first place. Think about what you are doing, you are falsifing a legal document. I would be worried about litigation and the ramifications.

    Don't assume you will not be selected on the basis of your health. I wouldn't go in blind either, asked for a letter from your own Doctor that states that you are fit and healthy to perform the job (don't submit - have it as back-up information if you need to produce it later). I would seek out information from privacy acts and discrimanation acts, do you home-work which in hindsight might be what you are doing by posting this thread in the first place.

    Surely you have access to Legal Nurses who would be able to guide you - especially with your laws in the USA. I have always thought honesty is the best policy, by lying only shows you as a person up in a negative light and maybe taint who you really are and what you are about.

    I think if you were not selected on the basis of your health and you were infact deemed suitable to apply for the position by your own Doctor then I would think their would be basis on discrimation to fight that process, afterall most employers are EOE. Do your homework first!

    All the best
    Brissygal
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    Let’s first look at your terminology. In some companies there is a pre-hire physical and drug screening. In this case the nurse cannot (unless the person wants) even take a blood pressure reading. Then the person is interviewed, and if hired, there is a post-hire physical which looks to the need for possible accommodations.

    If this is truly a pre-hire physical and the nurse is asking detailed medical questions I believe that this company is acting improperly and could run afoul of ADA (Americans with Disability Act) and be liable in a Court action.

    Usually there is a post-hire physical only (except for the prior go/no go of a drug test) which is performed after the person is hired. I will assume that you are talking about this type of post-hire physical:

    You answered your question when you said she “is capable of the assignment.”

    If your statement is true then what does lying get her? Management is never told “Oh Ms. X has cardiomyopathy.” Management is only told one of two things: 1) Fit for the job description. Or, 2) Unfit for job description, but would be fit for the job with the following restrictions/accomodations: (example: not to carry more than 100 boxes per hour up the stairs with a maximum weight of 22lbs.”)

    The company is bound by law to accommodate an employee that needs restriction(s), though there are limits. A 500 employee company where a worker needs a $1000 chair due to morbid obesity will simply have to pay for it. A very small company where a worker needs an accommodation that costs, let’s say $50,000 probably will not and in that case the employee may be turned away. But that is not the issue as she “is physically capable of the assignment.” It is wise to remember that the nurse is looking out in the best interest of the employee first, as well as the employer. Let’s say the nurse says: “This employee needs accommodations and it will cost $1000.” Well, the employer might grumble, but can quickly be shut up with the comment: “Ok, no accommodation, we’ll just deal with the soon to be appearing Workers’ Compensation case that will cost us $120,000, not to mention an “Americans with Disability Act” lawsuit that will cost us a quarter million..”

    Finally, though it does not seem logical, a wise Occ Health RN in some states realizes that cardiomyopathy could be considered (though it seems odd) to be what is known as a “Second Injury Opportunity.”

    In the early part of the 20th century a worker in New York state was using a grinding wheel which blew up and blinded him in one eye. At a prior job he just happened to have been blinded in the other eye. If the Workers’ Comp payout scale is (let’s say) $120k for one eye, it is NOT $240k for both eyes (or the second eye loss). Total blindness is far more devastating that losing one eye, so the payout for the loss of the second eye might be $380k (the numbers are just a guess). Well, the company argued that they should not be responsible for the higher payment as the man had lost another eye elsewhere, so they contested the case. Later the NY Workers’ Comp Board found for the employee. The next day, in New York State, thousands of one eyed, one armed, one legged workers were let go. There was a furor all around. The answer that came out of this was called the “Second Injury Fund.” A small percentage of payments into the fund were diverted to this “held by the state” Second Injury Fund. When a worker had a prior injury or illness that “could” have been a factor one half of expenses was paid by this fund. This protected both the employee and the employer to a great extent.

    Many companies self-insure, and even for those who do not self-insure, a 50% reduction in pay out by their fund or by the insurance company for a claim translates into a big savings for the company. I have saved companies tens of thousands of dollars per year utilizing this fund in NH. Though cardiomyopathy is not likely to be the cause of, let’s say, a slip and fall with a back injury, the medications “could be a contributing factor (possibly due to dizziness).” So a claim (in NH) probably would be allowed. (Remember only some states have a 2nd Injury Fund). So if your friend is deceptive the outcome could be destructive.

    Worse, if an employee is deceptive to the point to where a nurse would have advised accommodations but did not due to deception, and an injury occurs, the worker could lose the case for Workers’ Compensation under the argument that if she were honest, the accommodations would have been given, and the accident would not have occurred.

    A worker that needs accommodations is likely to be hurt by not having them. Even if the company weasel’s out of giving an accommodation they will have to, in essence, fire her. (And "at will" employment firing immediately after the post-hire physical will NOT get the company "off the hook," it will put them "on the hook.") Then I would suggest her calling the ADA people as they are very aggressive and will intervene and probably she would be promptly rehired with an apology and compensation in short order.

    Hope this helps.
    3rdcareerRN likes this.
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    I had a DOCS who came to work at 10 in the morning and was gone by one in the afternoon and everyone talked about her horrendous medical condition for which she was on disability. She got disability and only had to work half time and could come and go as she pleased if she said she was having "symptoms". I wonder what this gem of an employee put on her hiring paperwork?
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Nov 8, '09
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    Quote from lagill55
    my physical was changed to this tuesday and what is the physical re lifting entail?
    Generally lifting requirements vary from the question: (an example: "Can you lift and carry 25lbs 200 feet, ten times an hour?" To: Please pick up that box, and carry it to the end of the hall, and bring it back." So it depends upon what the requirements of that job can be.

    Here is an example of an accomodation recommendation that might be an outcome of such a test:

    To safely and competently perform required job duties the employee needs the pallet of boxes to be placed such that the bottom of the lowest box to be lifted is no less than 18" from the floor.

    In some cases this can be a very easy accommodation requiring maintenance to build an 18" "table." In other cases this could be much more difficult (as in an assembly line) or even impossible without extreme expense. In that case the worker is unfit for the job, however the company must attempt to find her alternate appropriate work. It might seem unfair that a person might actually lose their job because an accommodation might not be reasonably effected but think of the alternative. (Severe chondromalacia or patella-femoral syndrome due to stress caused by lifting with existing leg problems). It is better to have no job then be unable to walk and in constant pain, so as hard as it may be, sometimes being turned away creates a more appropriate outcome.
    Last edit by EwwThat'sNasty on Nov 8, '09 : Reason: html problems
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    Quote from JerseyLilly
    Agree with Mike above! They don't need to know EVERYTHING! Check out this link-- What questions a prospective employer may and may not ask during an interview regarding disabilities:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html


    http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/0...r-6-2-million/
    Hmm.... the stylelist.com is an unabashed "hire me" advertisement with little real substance.

    The other one is more helpful but consider please that a six million dollar fine is about 1/3 of one percent of Sears gross income in 2007. If a nurse earns $50k a year that equates to a fine of $176 dollars. It is wise to look at things in scale. Still it is nice that EEOC is holding Sears to the line!

    There must be some good links to what is appropriate for pre-hire and post-hire physicals from good sources--anyone know of some really good ones?
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    Quote from JerseyLilly
    Agree with Mike above! They don't need to know EVERYTHING! Check out this link-- What questions a prospective employer may and may not ask during an interview regarding disabilities:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html


    http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/0...r-6-2-million/
    I have a question. I was offered a job with a LTC facility. They expect me to pay for my criminal background check and my preemployment psysical. I am having second thoughts about the job. Because it should be the employer who pays for the preemployment requirements. I think if they are this cheap now, what would they be like to work for. Any ideas let me know.
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    Quote from raymoss1
    I have a question. I was offered a job with a LTC facility. They expect me to pay for my criminal background check and my preemployment psysical. I am having second thoughts about the job. Because it should be the employer who pays for the preemployment requirements. I think if they are this cheap now, what would they be like to work for. Any ideas let me know.
    It is more common for companies to offer post-offer employment physicals and a background criminal check. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no mandatory rules that state a company must provide it. Many companies in an effort to decrease adminstrative costs often make the prospective employee pay. I believe if they are "penny" pinching in adminstrative costs then, they are penny pinching everywhere else in the facility. There are budget cuts all over. The question to ask is are there other opportunities that you have to choose from and if not, perhaps, you could see if they could negotiate or recommend a low-cost clinic or criminal background check company.


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