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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    How to handle a pre-employment medical discpute?

    Hi All,

    I would like advice or opinions on how to handle a situation where a candidate is put through a pre-employment medical and is deemed a risk based on a previous injury and the likelihood of aggravating it further, thus meaning we are unable to offer him employment.

    We have in no way offered him a position but it is fairly obvious that we were waiting on the medical before going to references and then would have proceeded offer.

    When discussing with him we stated that we felt unable to provide a safe working environment and so will not be offering employment at this time. He has not taken this particularly well to the point of feeling aggrieved and has been using terms such as discrimination.

    My question is - could we be seen to have discriminated? The role is a trades position (we're oil&gas) and to avoid discrimination in the first place we didn't put in the advert that the person needs to be fully mobile or fit.

    Interested to hear everyone's thoughts.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Toby, I'm no expert in discrimination, but it's common for position descriptions to state what level of physical activity is required in a job, such as lifting, walking, standing, sitting, use of ladders etc, particularly for Govt jobs.

    So it may have been wise to include this in the original position description at least and maybe even the job ad.

    I am reasonably sure that where a certain level of physical fitness, strength and agility is required to do a job, then advertising this is not discriminatory.

    It might be worth posting your question on our sister site

    Alternatively you could call your state equal opportunity or discrimination commissioner and ask the question, you can find most of them using this Google search

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    To get around this dilema, could you not complete a risk assessment on the medical outcome versus the position requirements. Remembering in the new WHS legislation financials can be factored in to the equation. So in short, if the assessment finds that the existing injury is likely to be aggravated through the work task and the task cannot be modified to suit the worker without huge financial cost, then you have shown that the cost out weights the benefit.

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