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The regulations adopted under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq., by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide that an employer may make pre-employment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions, and/or may ask an applicant to describe or to demonstrate how, with or without reasonable accommodation, the applicant will be able to perform job-related functions. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.14(a).
Appellant Andre Grenier ("Grenier") was employed as an electrician for Cyanamid Plastics, Inc., d/b/a Cyro Industries ("Cyro"), for several years before he was placed on disability leave due to psychological problems. After his employment had officially terminated by automatic operation of the company disability policy, but while still receiving disability benefits, Grenier notified Cyro that he was an individual with a disability who needed reasonable accommodation to return to work and applied to be re-hired into his previous position. Before making him a job offer, Cyro requested Grenier to provide certification from his physician stating that he was prepared to return to work without restrictions or identifying the reasonable accommodations necessary for him to return to work. When Grenier failed to do so, his application was rejected. Grenier filed an action against Cyro alleging that Cyro violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Cyro.
Did Cyro violate the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d), which prohibits certain preemployment medical examinations and inquiries of a job applicant?
The court affirmed the decision of the district court. The court held that Grenier incorrectly assumed that the essential functions of the job of shift electrician required only technical ability and experience, but Cyro knew that Grenier had recently been unable to perform his job because of a mental disability for which he was still receiving benefits. The court held that Cyro did not violate the prohibition in 42 U.S.C.S. § 12112(d) by inquiring into Grenier’s ability to function effectively in the workplace. The court held that the requirement of a pre-employment medical certification did not violate 42 U.S.C.S. § 12112(d)(2)(A) because Cyro had the right to require that Grenier’s medical condition be verified in order to determine his employment rights as long as it was relevant to the assessment of ability to perform essential job functions.