Concealing Mental or Physical Health Conditions from an Employer: What Limits Does the ADA Place on an Employer’s Right to Inquire?

Event ID:13321

Choose Option

Please Select an Option
CD Only                 $349.00 includes recorded presentation, slides, and Q&A
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law and president, HR Learning Center, LLC
Price: $349.00, CD includes full audio presentation, question and answer session and presentation slides. CD option is subject to a $5.95 handling charge.
CE Credits: This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.
Who Should Attend? HR, in-house counsel, financial officers, CEOs

Would an employee conceal a medical condition—either physical or mental—from his or her employer? You would hope not in light of the protections the American with Disabilities Act gives workers. Yet, the belief that the employee may be stigmatized by fellow workers or possibly even fired from his or her job could cause an ill employee to conceal a mental or physical illness. Further, what if that employee, as a complication of his or her illness commits a crime while at work? As unimaginable as this is, sadly the recent Germanwings plane disaster is a real life example of a worker who suffered from mental illness deliberately crashing a passenger plane. Now, in the aftermath of this tragedy, people are asking why the co-pilot’s employer didn’t know that the co-pilot was unfit to fly, and what steps can be taken in the future to avoid similar tragedies. And while this tragedy took place at a European airline, no one should rest easy believing it can’t happen here. Recent experience has shown that it has and can happen in any workplace, and airlines in Europe are not unique. In the United States, however, what the employer can and can’t do to identify a worker who is either mentally or physically unfit before a tragedy takes place is determined by the ADA and various privacy requirements. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for workers, and to use the EEOC required-interactive process as part of the employment decision making process. In addition there are privacy requirements which protect workers and may even limit the nature of certain useful employer inquiries. Violence is too common both in and out of the workplace, and employers who fail to fully understand and utilize all of the tools at their disposal for reducing such risks are tempting fate, and increasing the potential liability associated with a violent act by a current or former employee who failed to divulge a medical condition. Please join Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law, as she explains the requirements of the ADA and privacy statutes, and the resulting risks and liabilities facing employers as a result of the possible criminal acts of their employees.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Learn what you can legally find out about your employee's medical condition and what you cannot ask or don't want to know. Don't let your employee's past mental or physical problems come back to haunt you in the workplace.
  • Discuss what you are allowed to do and not do when you think you see warning signs that an employee is having mental problems.
  • Discuss how even when there are no obvious signs, how employers can protect themselves, and feel more comfortable that their employees just won’t lose it one day and threaten other employees and customers/clients.
  • Can periodic testing be required for current employees depending on the nature of their job responsibilities?
  • Review the relevant requirements of the ADA relating to employee accommodation.
  • Understand how the EEOC’s required-interactive process comes into play.
  • Consider relevant privacy considerations which may limit employers.


Your conference leader for “Concealing Mental or Physical Health Conditions from an Employer: What Limits Does the ADA Place on an Employer’s Right to Inquire?” is Melissa Fleischer. Ms. Fleischer is an employment attorney with over 20 years’ experience representing clients in employment discrimination litigation as well as providing preventive counseling and training on workplace issues. HR Learning Center LLC offers training seminars, webinars, and consulting on a variety of workplace and human resources issues. She is also a frequent speaker on a wide range of employment law topics including: workplace investigations, anti-harassment training, FMLA and ADA training, workplace violence prevention, etc. Ms. Fleischer earned her J.D. degree from the George Washington University School of Law. QUALITY COMMITMENT

HRWebAdvisor, a division of DKG Media, LP, wants you to be satisfied with your webinar. If this webinar does not meet your expectations, email us at


HRWebAdvisor certificates of participation are available to everyone completing this webinar.