Disability Based Illegal Interview Questions in US
Disability based illegal interview questions in US reflect the adverse inferences of the employer regarding the capabilities of the applicant to perform the concerned job, based on his disabilities.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits the employer from asking the applicant questions about disability and bars his medical examination until he has been given a conditional job offer. However, the employer may ask the applicant if he has any condition that would hold him from performing the specific functions of the concerned job. The employer may even require drug tests or ask if the applicant takes illegal drugs.
In case of any voluntarily disclosed disability that requires reasonable accommodation, the employer may ask the candidate if he needs any.
After making a job offer, an employer may ask any disability related question and conduct job related medical test. An employer may withdraw job offer from an applicant with a disability, where it becomes clear that he is incapable of performing the essential functions of the job or would pose a health hazard to others as well. The employer must however be sure that the incapability of the applicant cannot be made good even with reasonable accommodation or assistance.
Examples of improper questions based on disability:
Do you have any disabilities or handicaps, physical or mental?
What is your medical history?
Have you ever received workers compensation or been on disability leave?
Have you had any major illness or operation?
How is your familys health?
Do you need an accommodation to perform the job? (This question can only be asked after a job offer has been made.)
How does your condition affect your abilities?
Have you ever been disciplined for violating company policy forbidding the use of alcohol or tobacco products?
Do you take any prescription drugs?
Do you take any drugs? (Since this question does not distinguish between illegal and legal drug use, it may cause applicants to disclose their lawful use of prescription drugs, which in law they cannot be called upon to.)
Have you ever been addicted to drugs or been treated for drug addiction?
Have you ever been an alcoholic?
How many sick days did you take last year?
Do you have AIDS?
Have you been diagnosed with any mental illnesses?
Have you ever taken a test that revealed hearing loss?
An employer may convert such illegal questions into harmless legal queries, as given below, by seeking comparable information on the capabilities of the applicant in relation to the job applied for.
Examples of proper questions based on disability:
Can you perform the specific duties of the job?
Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without accommodation? (This question can be put only after a job offer has been made.)
Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job? (This question can come after the interviewer has described the job.)
Are you able to reach items on a shelf that's five feet tall?
Are you able to lift boxes weighing up to 50 pounds?
How many days of work did you miss last year?
Can you demonstrate how you would perform the following job-related functions? (The applicant is given a common job-related task to perform.)
Do you use illegal drugs?
If an applicant voluntarily discloses a disability, an employer may ask two follow-up questions: Whether the candidate needs a reasonable accommodation, and if so, of what type? The employer must keep any information regarding such disability or medical condition confidential.
After hiring only, the employer may ask questions about medical history on insurance forms.
As part of the hiring process, after a job offer has been made, the applicant may be required to undergo a medical test. Such examination results must be kept confidential.