Workplace injuries can cause employers thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation claims. Aside from that, they would also have to pay sick leave benefits for the injured employee or employees. For this reason, companies started to look for ways they can reduce the risks associated with workplace injuries. This paved the way for the establishment of functional employment testing. Such programs are designed to help avoid the risks associated with workplace injuries.
Workplace injuries can have a huge impact on the productivity of an employee. Studies have revealed that the expenses that employers would incur for administering pre-employment testing far outweighs the cost for workers’ compensation benefits. It has shown to reduce workplace injuries and missed work days. In recent studies, implementing functional employment screening has reduced the days lost due to injury by 90%. Likewise, functional employment programs have increased worker retention by 21%.
In addition, functional employment testing can also deliver financial returns to businesses. According to studies, employers received an estimated indirect return of $6 for every $1 spent. They also got a direct cost benefit of $3 to $18 for every dollar spent. Moreover, the cost per claim was four to seven times lower. Cost reduction were reflected in the reduction of the severity of the injuries due to decrease in medical expenses and lost work days.
Given these benefits, functional employment testing has slowly become the standard for site access in some industries. Time will come when such screening programs would become necessary to achieve compliance with requirements in some circumstances. In the future, job offers would become conditional unless the new hire has passed the pre-placement functional test. If the test is connected with the functional aspect of the job and the applicant fails in one or more components of the test, the employer has the legal right to rescind the offer.
While Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits the discrimination of “otherwise qualified individuals,” it also allows employers to reject prospective employees if they deem that they will be a direct threat to the health or safety of other employees. This right is also protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.