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Can your employer ask you about your medical history?

When you go in for an interview, the employer may ask you a question about your medical history that you don’t feel comfortable answering. You may instantly find yourself wondering if they’re even allowed to ask you something like that. 

The reason for your discomfort is clear, and you are absolutely correct that employers are not supposed to ask questions about someone’s medical history. For example, the employer cannot ask you to tell them if you technically qualify as having any type of disability. It is illegal for them to do this and could result in legal action if they do.

Preventing discrimination

Limiting questions like this makes it so that employers are not able to discriminate against employees with certain conditions or disabilities. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to show that they can do the job at hand.

What this means is that the employer can talk to you about the working conditions and the physical demands of the job. They can tell you what requirements there are and ask you if you’ll be able to meet them. If you can’t, you’re expected to be honest about this. But they can’t ask you directly if you have a certain disability and then discriminate against you on those grounds if you believe that you could easily perform the tasks that are required.

Protecting your rights

If you feel that an employer has violated your rights in some way, such as discriminating against you based on a disability, then you need to know about all the legal options at your disposal.