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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

EEOC: Companies cannot make pre-job offer health inquiries to applicants

By Mark Iandolo | Nov 21, 2017

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INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Nov. 14 that Strataforce, a staffing firm operating in California, Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, will resolve allegations of making pre-offer health inquiries of applicants.

According to the EEOC, the company required its applicants to fill out a medical questionnaire before they could be offered a position. This questionnaire allegedly involved sensitive health information, including questions about disabilities. Such business practices are illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Strataforce agreed to provide applicants with information about their ADA rights. The company will also submit annual compliance reports to the EEOC for four years.

"Congress recognized that prohibiting pre-offer medical inquiries was necessary to prevent applicants from being subjected to harmful and unfounded stereotypes on the basis of an actual or perceived disability," said EEOC regional attorney Kenneth Bird in a statement. "As staffing agencies now play a large role in our nation's workforce, eliminating any discrimination in their screening practices is increasingly important to ensuring that workers with disabilities have equal access to work opportunities.”

Bird noted that Strataforce has hired many individuals with disabilities. He commended the company for entering an early resolution.

“We are pleased that in the future Strataforce will conduct its hiring processes in compliance with the ADA,” Bird said.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission