The Justice Department reached a settlement with the city of Miami Beach, Florida, over claims the city violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the DOJ’s office of public affairs. The case revolves around police applicants, who must take medical and psychological exams too early in the hiring process. “The ADA bars employers from asking applicants about health or disability until the end of the hiring process,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our settlement with the City of Miami Beach will ensure that police applicants know that they are being evaluated based on their skills and qualifications, rather than on their disability.”
The ADA requires employers to wait until a conditional job offer is made before asking about an applicant's health or disability, including medical and psychological exams. But Miami Beach required police applicants to take medical and psychological exams before or at the same time as other parts of the applicant process. Under the agreement, the city will ensure that its hiring practices comply with the ADA, including the timing of medical examinations, and will continue to train its employees on this requirement. When requested, the city will provide an applicant whose conditional job offer is revoked with the reason why, including any medical or disability-related reasons. The city will also host a training on the ADA and best practices for background investigations for representatives from Florida’s municipal and county law enforcement agencies.