The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has been asked to investigate how employers can determine whether someone is in an occupation, meaning they should be able to check their own badges to see whether they’re part of the profession.
The AMA is asking the US Department of Labor to examine how employers may have to use occupational health and safety standards, which were developed for the workplace.
In a report released in February, the APA said that some employers may be unable to determine whether a person in an industry is a person who is qualified to perform the job they’re looking for.
“We are concerned about the impact that occupational health requirements may have on the ability of employers to assess whether an individual is qualified for their position, and therefore whether their policies are compatible with the ADA,” the report said.
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has indicated that it would take into account the ADA in the determination of whether an applicant is qualified.”
In the report, the AMA’s executive director, Dr Sarah Kamin, said that employers were “not required to conduct health checks for employees who are in their care, but are required to check that they are fit to work, safe to work in the workplace, and able to do their jobs”.
“In some circumstances, however, employers may not be able or unwilling to conduct such checks, or they may not want to conduct them at all,” she said.
The report recommended that employers consider whether to require an occupational health check before hiring a person.
“A number of studies suggest that employers may want to consider whether they would be comfortable conducting such a check before considering whether to hire an individual,” it said.
Dr Kamin said the report “should prompt the HHS to examine whether the ADA should apply to workplace requirements for health and safe conditions”.
“If the ADA applies, then it should apply regardless of whether the employer conducts the health check itself, and whether the person performing the check is a member of the employer’s team,” she wrote.
The AMA’s report was released ahead of a major conference in New York in the coming weeks, in which employers and their employees will discuss how to tackle workplace safety and health issues.
An AMA statement said that the organisation had been “in dialogue with the Department of Justice and HHS” on how the workplace requirements would be reviewed.
“This is a positive step towards a more transparent workplace, which is in the best interests of everyone involved,” the statement said.