QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND HIRING POLICE OFFICERS
- 1. Q: Who is a "qualified individual with a disability" for employment?
- 2. Q: The ADA prohibits making disability-related inquiries or giving applicants for police jobs medical examinations until a conditional offer of employment is made. Why?
- 3. Q: I know I can't give a job applicant a medical exam before a conditional job offer is made. But what about physical agility and physical fitness tests?
- 4. Q: But to limit the police department's liability, I need to get a medical approval that it's o.k. for a job applicant to take the physical fitness test. Doesn't the ADA create a catch-22 for police departments?
- 5. Q: Recently a job applicant for a police officer's job came into the police department with fingers that were visibly impaired. The police department required that he demonstrate that he could pull the trigger on the police issue firearm and reload it before a conditional job offer was made. Did this violate the ADA?
- 6. Q: Can I refuse to consider an applicant because of his current use of illegal drugs?
- 7. Q: What about applicants with a history of illegal drug use? Do they have rights under the ADA?
- 8. Q: May an applicant be asked prior to a conditional job offer whether he or she has ever used illegal drugs or been arrested for any reason?
- 9. Q: Can I disqualify all applicants with felony convictions even though a former addict with a felony drug conviction would be excluded?
- 10. Q: Does the ADA have any impact on the use of drug-testing?
- 11. Q: If an applicant tests positive for illegal drug use, can I ask whether he or she is using any prescription medications under a doctor's care that may have caused a positive result?
- 12. Q: Are alcoholics covered by the ADA?
- 13. Q: Can police departments still use polygraph tests at the application stage or do we have to wait until a conditional job offer has been made?
- 14. Q: May a police department wait to conduct a background check on applicants until after the information from the medical exam has been reviewed -- which is after a conditional offer of employment has been made?
- 15. Q: The police department hires from a pool of applicants that have received conditional offers. Does the ADA allow a police department to re-rank the applicants in the pool based on the results of the medical examination?
- 16. Q: If an employee is injured or becomes ill can he or she be required to take a medical examination?
- 17. Q: Do I have to create another job for an employee who, because of disability, can no longer perform the essential functions of her job even with reasonable accommodation?
- 18. Q: May a police department create a light duty job category reserved only for incumbent officers without offering identical positions to job applicants?
- 19. Q: If an officer wants to stay in a street job and his supervisor wants him to go on light duty because of a disability, can the supervisor force him to accept a light duty position?
- 20. Q: If a charging party receives a right to sue letter, does that mean that the government has found that there has been a violation of the ADA?
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