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Thursday, May 28, 2009

ADA issues

This one floored me.

One of my patients told me today that he filled out an application for employment and received bad news. On the application it asked if he was on any prescription medications. He answered the question truthfully and said yes. It also asked if he had thoughts of suicide... and he was truthful again. That is what brought him into the hospital for treatment. And that is why he is on prescription medication.

Can you believe that they asked him those questions? And then they turned him down for employment. Talk about depressing...

I was outraged!

I looked up prohibited questions on an application. From the website of Law Guru http://www.lawguru.com/cgi/bbs/user/faq.cgi?id=69

What is an employer prohibited from asking me either on an application or at an interview?

Examples of questions that an employer cannot ask you on an application or at an interview include: whether you have had any diseases or conditions in the past 3 years; whether you have ever been hospitalized; whether you are taking prescription drugs; whether you have ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism; whether you have ever filed a worker's compensation insurance claim; or whether you have any physical defects, disabilities or impairments which may affect your performance in the position for which you are applying/interviewing. However, some of these questions may be asked once the employer has extended you a job offer.

Obviously, the veteran does not have money to sue the company. Any other suggestions?


  1. I keep coming back to this post. I can't believe that it continues to happen.

    Thanks for the list of forbidden questions.

  2. Has he tried to go through Legal Aide? Also, he should try to get an attorney that does one of those, I don't get paid unless you win deals. Let us know what happens. Poor guy.

  3. I read and re-read the website. I think the question about suicide was "legal" because it was coached in the terms of "have you ever thought of...?" I was amazed that a company would bother putting that on an application. They can't ask about hospitalizations ... which they didn't. So, unfortunately this veteran is going to continue to put down that he has prescribed medications because he might get flagged in a employment required urinalysis however, any questions regarding his mental health are personal and would remain so... and unanswered. I may explore the issue of Legal Aide with this veteran, as that the employer should be challenged for the types of questions that it asks for an entry level position.