Workers’ Compensation Claims
Service : Compliance Services
Question: Can workers’ compensation information be used in the screening process?
Response & Analysis:
It depends. Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), prior to making a conditional offer of employment, an employer is prohibited from obtaining information about an applicant’s prior workers’ compensation claims or occupational injuries from the applicant or from any third parties, such as former employers, state workers’ compensation offices or a service that provides workers’ compensation information.
There are also many laws on the state level that protect employees from being discriminated against based on workers’ compensation claims. Many of these state laws are even more restrictive than the federal ADA. For example, in Oregon, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against a worker with respect to hire, tenure or any term or condition of employment because the worker has applied for benefits or invoked or utilized the procedures provided for under the state’s workers’ compensation statute (or has given testimony under the provisions of those laws).2 Similarly, in Connecticut, an employer is prohibited from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee because the employee has filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits or otherwise exercised the rights afforded to him or her under state law.3 In Alaska, an employer may not discriminate in hiring, promotion, or retention policies or practices against an employee who has in good faith filed a workers’ compensation claim.4
Thus, it would be a best practice for employers to avoid asking applicants or employers about prior workers’ compensation claims or using this information to make an employment decision. If an employer decides to inquire into prior workers’ compensation claims, the employer must ensure that its policies and practices are in full compliance with both state and federal laws. Further, in most cases, employers will be unable to obtain workers’ compensation information from consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) because many states restrict a CRA’s ability to access such information or prohibit CRAs from reporting such information to an employer that is not permitted to consider it when making an employment decision.
1 See EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Workers’ Compensation and the ADA, questions 4 & 6, available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/workcomp.html.
2 O.R.S. § 659A.040(1)
3 C.G.S.A. § 31-290a(a).
4 A.S. § 23.30.247
All Rights Reserved © 2017 Certiphi Screening, Inc.
This document and/or presentation is provided as a service to our customers. Its contents are designed solely for informational purposes, and should not be inferred or understood as legal advice or binding case law, nor shared with any third parties. Persons in need of legal assistance should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. Although care has been taken in preparation of these materials, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information contained within it. Anyone using this information does so at his or her own risk.
Everyone I have contacted at Certiphi has been a complete pleasure to work with. The Certiphi customer service rivals every other customer service I come in contact with. Everyone is always so professional, yet super nice! Thanks for all you do and keep up the amazing work and impeccable service that you provide!!!
Thank you so much! You have such an incredible reputation within our office; I think we would all say your customer service levels are continually at about 125%!
The response time has been very quick. The turnaround times are great. I love your systems and that I can go in and look at the process as its going.
It’s such a great customer service that you provide and I’m happy to tell that to anyone.
Working with Certiphi has been such a pleasure. Certiphi has taught me so much, not just about backgrounds but also the meaning of great business.
We flew through our NCQA licensure review. We very much appreciate Certiphi's help in earning a 100% score for the files!