Can I be asked for a 15 year medical history pre-employment?

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I know it's normal to get a physical prior to accepting a new position but is it normal for them to submit a physical questionnaire? They want my medical history for the last 15 years. They're requesting a surgeries and dates. Is this to be expected?

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It is unusual for many jobs in nursing. 

Requesting a detailed medical history, including information about surgeries and dates, as part of a pre-employment physical questionnaire is used in certain industries, particularly those with safety-sensitive positions or jobs that require a high level of physical fitness.

Whether or not it violates HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) depends on the specifics of how the information is handled.

HIPAA regulations primarily apply to "covered entities" such as healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, as well as their business associates who handle protected health information (PHI) in the course of providing services.

Generally, employers are not considered covered entities under HIPAA.

However, employers still have legal obligations to protect employee health information under other laws and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). They are required to keep medical information confidential and separate from personnel files.

If you have already been hired at a company, your employer may ask if you have a disability within the context of reasonable accommodation for an invisible disability. If you need accommodation, you must disclose your disability status.

Regarding your situation, while it's not unheard of for an employer to request a detailed medical history, they should have policies to ensure the confidentiality and appropriate handling of this information.

It's important to review any forms or agreements the employer provides regarding collecting and using medical information.

Suppose you have concerns about how your medical information will be handled or believe your privacy rights are being violated. In that case, you may want to seek clarification from the employer or consult a legal advisor familiar with employment law and privacy regulations.