3202 - Pre-Employment Medical Examination Selection


Medical Screening

Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Officers
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Human Resources Liaisons
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers


This policy provides:

  • The standards for requiring a pre-employment medical (PEM) examination.
  • The process for establishing PEM examination requirements.
  • The documentation requirements.


According to California Code of Regulations Title 2 Section 11071, a medical examination includes a procedure or test that seeks information about an individual's physical or mental conditions or health but does not include testing for current illegal drug use. This policy provides guidance on post-offer PEM examinations.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for an appointing power (hereafter, hiring department) to require a PEM examination until after the applicant has received a bona fide conditional offer of employment. For a job offer to be bona fide, a hiring department must have either completed all non-medical components of the hiring process or demonstrated that it could not reasonably have done so before issuing the offer.

It is also unlawful to use selection criteria that screen out, or tend to screen out, applicants with disabilities unless those selection criteria are shown to be job-related for the position in question and are consistent with business necessity. In state civil service, PEM examinations are only appropriate when used to protect the public and promote health and safety.

It is the responsibility of each hiring department to evaluate positions under its authority not otherwise subject to PEM examinations under the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) regulations, to identify which, if any, should be included in a PEM examination program. Hiring departments should document their justification for those positions to be included, and the process should be reviewed by the appropriate personnel, which may include human resources, labor, and legal staff.


Government Code Section 19261 vests the California Department of Human Resources with authority to establish standards of health and safety in state agencies. Pursuant to Government Code Section 12940:

A hiring department may only refuse to hire a person because of a physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition, when the person is unable to perform the essential duties of the position or cannot perform those duties in a manner that would not endanger their own health and safety, or the health and safety of others, with or without reasonable accommodation.

A hiring department may only require a PEM examination or make a medical inquiry of a job applicant after a bona fide conditional employment offer has been made and prior to the commencement of employment duties.

PEM examinations must be job-related and consistent with business necessity and must be applied to all entering employees in the same job.

For the purpose of this policy, “all entering employees in the same job” means all entering employees in a classification whose essential functions and workplace settings are sufficiently similar to justify a PEM.

Additionally, pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 11071, where the results of a PEM examination would result in disqualification, a job candidate may submit independent medical opinions for consideration before a final determination on disqualification is made.


Identifying Positions for Pre-Employment Medical Examination

No person who has been selected for a civil service position shall be denied an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to successfully perform the essential functions of that job, with or without reasonable accommodation, except when the hiring agency has determined the performance of the essential functions of the job entails an elevated level of risk such that a PEM examination is warranted to safeguard health and safety. PEM examinations are appropriate for positions where the essential functions the incumbent will be required to perform meet the following criteria:

1. Duties that involve a greater than normal level of trust, responsibility for or impact on the health and safety of others; and

2. Errors in judgment, inattentiveness or diminished coordination, dexterity or composure while performing their duties could reasonably be expected to result in mistakes that would endanger the health and safety of others; and

3. Employees in these positions work with such independence, or perform such tasks, that it cannot be safely assumed that mistakes could be prevented by a supervisor or another employee.


It is the responsibility of each hiring department to document which of their positions are subject to PEM examinations. Each hiring department is responsible for retaining the documents in accordance with the retention periods specified by applicable law. The written documentation should contain all the following:

• Classification;

• Working Title, if applicable;

• Duty statement; and

• Explanation of how criteria listed above are met.



Not Applicable.

Authorized By

Michele Villados
Chief, Medical and Psychological Screening Division

Contact Person

Medical Program Analyst
Medical and Psychological Screening Division
Phone: 916-909-2803
Email: Medical.Program@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan