Preemployment Examination Records
Maintaining employee medical examination records as separate, confidential medical records is a fundamental change from the practices in most workplaces. This appears to preempt directly the OSHA requirement that medical information from preemployment evaluations be maintained with the occupational medical record. The employer and its agents have only limited access to such information:
supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations;
first aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment;
government officials investigating compliance with this Act shall be provided relevant information on request.
State workers’ compensation laws are not preempted by the ADA. Consequently, employers or other covered entities may submit information to state workers’ compensation offices or second injury funds in accordance with state workers’ compensation laws without violating this part.
These restrictions also apply to routine medical examinations of employees made in the regular course of their employment, which creates a dilemma for employers who process employee medical examination data through their personnel department. The intent of the ADA is to deny information about disabilities to persons involved in employee hiring and retention. This would seem to require that the occupational medicine department, or the examining physician, maintain and disperse this information in accordance with restrictions in the ADA and its regulations.