Why asking about past workers' comp claims is illegal
- Employers might want to know whether job candidates have filed one too many workers’ compensation claims, but asking violates the law, reports TG Daily. Putting this data in employees’ files is also prohibited.
- States administer workers’ compensation programs and set requirements for employers and workers. But federal law protects disabled workers, including those injured on the job and eligible for workers’ comp, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) rules.
- TG Daily says employers can specify job requirements, such as the ability to lift 50 pounds, to lower the risk of hiring accident-prone or severely injured candidates.
Employers might not want to risk hiring accident-prone candidates, especially those who might have a long history of filing workers’ comp claims, but they must comply with the ADA. The law requires workers to be able to perform the essential duties of a job and requires employers to provide them with reasonable accommodation if hired.
Human resource managers should know the workers’ comp laws in their states to ensure that they’re organizations are in full compliance. While the new administration is rather pro-business, the EEOC will continue to push forward with the enforcement of worker protections and has been notably active as of late.