Florida based recruitment firm, KB Staffing, is under fire from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after allegedly asking applicants to share personal medical details. Screening candidates based on health status to determine eligibility for employment is currently illegal.
This case came to light when a female candidate applying for a human resources jobs believed she was discriminated against because she refused to complete the health history section of the application. She was then later denied employment.
Under current EEOC laws, as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), no employer can deny employment or weed out candidates based on medical histories or disabilities. This extends to temporary staffing agencies, who are acting as employers on behalf of their clientele.
When she declined to complete this portion of the application, the complainant claims that her application was flagged as incomplete and she was later contacted by the owner to let her know that there were no assignments available.
EEOC Regional Attorney, Robert Weisberg, provided a statement to Recruitment Grapevine, saying, “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 disability have equal access to work opportunities.”
Many employers use a variety of pre-screening tools and assessments to determine the suitability for employment. However, since medical information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), candidates do not have to reveal any medical conditions. They do, however, have the responsibility to discuss any disabilities that may require accommodation from their employer. But, again, employers cannot discriminate against them, nor bar them from employment opportunities based on a disability or perceived disability.