When hiring new workers, employers have the ADA, the EEOC, and all these different agencies that regulate who they can hire, how they should hire them, who they can’t hire or why they can’t withdraw an offer. There are all kinds of regulations that employers have to keep in mind while they are looking for that individual who will also fit their corporate culture, share their ideals, and possess the required education or experience necessary for the position.
WorkSTEPS testing came about to work within these laws to identify those applicants who can or can’t physically do the job once an offer of employment has been made and before they are placed. All of those regulatory agencies give you certain rights to make sure that the person is safe to perform the essential functions of the job. WorkSTEPS goes into the workplace and identifies the physical demands needed to safely perform those essential functions for each position. Then, they develop a test based on that specific position at the company. The company is left with an updated, functional job description and a test that can be used to validate or negate a hire.
Once the job specific test is developed, new hires can be put through that test to make sure they can perform the job, and also that they don’t have a medical condition that would be aggravated or worsened by being placed in that particular position. If they have an impairment that would be covered under the ADA, the testing provider can make sure the employer is aware of the work related deficits caused by the impairment. Then the employer can make an informed decision about whether they can accommodate that impairment or not. We also tell the employer if the person is not capable, or not able to perform the essential functions of the job, and then they have the right to withdraw the offer of employment while being compliant within the EEOC and the ADA guidelines.
When is Post Offer Employment Testing Done?
A post offer employment test is done after the offer but pre-placement. In other words, the candidate hasn’t started working in the position. Once they’re placed, the employer, or their agent, cannot collect any medical information. If they haven’t received an offer of employment yet, the employer cannot collect any medical information. It’s a narrow window, but during that limited period, the employer is allowed to gather any information they may need to determine if the employee has any significant medical conditions that may place them at risk or to identify a disability that needs to be addressed before the employee begins the job.
Benefits of a Post Offer Employment Test
There are a few benefits for an employer with the post offer employment test that could lead to a huge savings in the long run. The first is that the employer is in compliance with all the federal regulations. The second is that they can identify an at risk individual who could become their next workers’ compensation claim.
Just the other day, an employer called to say that a worker was injured on their first day at work. Thankfully, they had a post offer employment test done, and the therapist had fully documented the employee’s foot range of motion and strength levels, and she also wrote that the employee had denied any past history of a foot injury. When he filed a claim for this first-day injury, he disclosed that he had a prior foot injury, and his claim was denied for withholding information during his post offer exam. Of course, if there had not been a post offer employment test, they could have to pay for treatment, surgery, or physical therapy that can drag on for what seems like forever while the employee returned to ‘normal,’ even though when he was hired, he already showed arthritic changes and limited range of motion. The employee might end up with a disability rating for a condition that he was hired with, and the employer would have to pay for that as well.
How is a Post Offer Employment Test Done?
With the WorkSTEPS testing, a testing provider interviews a candidate about their medical history and a licensed physical therapist conducts a full head-to-toe physical that looks at posture, flexibility, and joint integrity, along with other measures. After the candidate has gone through the comprehensive evaluation, there is a standard cardiovascular test as well as lifting assessment that is limited to the physical demands of the job. If a person is only going to be lifting 30lbs on the job, there is no need to ask them to lift up to 125lbs and risk a possible injury. Finally, if the candidate has demonstrated the ability to get through all the other portions of the test, they will be put through the job specific tasks. The employer then receives a report outlining what the candidate completed and did not, and the employer has all of the facts in front of them to make the final hiring decision. While the report may say ‘not capable of performing the job functions’, the employer has a list of all their limitations and can find possible accommodations if possible. For example, if someone could not step up 24” during testing, the employer may be able to accommodate this individual with a portable step that allows the employee to climb into his truck. The employer has mitigated a potential risk for that employee, and they have gained a valuable employee who knows the employer cares for their safety.
Hiring can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but making sure your new hires are physically able to do a job isan important part of ensuring they are the right fit for your business. If you would like to discuss what WorkSTEPS testing could do for your company, please call us at 919-256-1400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .