Can I be subject to a medical examination before being hired?

It depends. If all employees in a similar job with the employer were subjected to a medical examination as a condition to being hired, then you may legally be asked to submit to similar evaluation. These medical examinations, though, must be related to the job and in line with the employer's needs.

However, it is important that you recognize that the Americans with Disabilities Act provides protection to those with disabilities when it comes to the hiring process. For example, if you are disabled, then a prospective employer cannot ask you about the nature or severity of your condition. Employers can, however, ask about your ability to perform certain job tasks. If you are unable to perform critical job functions with reasonable accommodations, then you may legally be denied employment.

It is worth noting that those who use illegal drunks or drink alcohol are not covered by the ADA. This means that a potential employer can ask you to submit to a drug test and, even if you have substance abuse problems, an employer or prospective employer can hold you to the same standard as other employees. Thus, you will not be afforded the protections given to those with disabilities.

The ADA is a powerful law that can help ensure that you are treated fairly in hiring decisions, compensation and promotion considerations, and termination choices. If, at any time, you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your disability, then you may want to think about seeking out your legal options. In Louisiana, attorneys stand ready to inform you of the law, advise you as to how it applies to your unique situation, and fight for your best interests. If the decision is made to file a lawsuit, then success could mean recovering compensation for your losses.

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act," accessed on March 21, 2015