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In the past, employers often screened out applicants with disabilities based on medical information requested on application forms or obtained through pre-employment medical examinations. The OHRC believes that such questions, asked as part of the application screening process, violate subsection 23(2) of the Code.

Any medical assessment to verify or determine an individual's ability to perform the essential duties of a job, should only take place after a conditional offer of employment is made, preferably in writing. This allows an applicant with a disability the right to be considered exclusively on her or his merits during the selection process.

The OHRC recognizes the fact that it would be advantageous to both the employer and prospective job applicants if the employer were to disclose information on any specific and bona fide medically related requirements of a position at an early stage of the recruitment process.

Example: A Police Services Board may stipulate in a recruitment advertisement that applicants must meet a minimum vision standard without corrective lenses to qualify for selection as long as it is a bona fide occupational requirement and accommodation is provided.

For more information about human rights issues relating to applications for employment and “bona fide occupational requirements,” see the OHRC’s 2008 publication, Human Rights at Work, 3rd Ed.

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