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Disqualifying Disabilities

Disqualifying Disabilities

The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that each allegedly disqualifying disability must be examined on an individual basis, with regard to the degree of the disability, current medical condition of the employee, and the nature of the position sought.

Both the possible severity of the consequences if an accident occurred and the likelihood of an accident occurring should be considered. The employer must rely upon competent medical advice. An employer may claim that having a specific disability-related characteristic, such as history of heart disease or seizure disorder, absolutely disqualifies job applicants with that characteristic.

When relying upon this "bona fide occupational qualification" exception, the burden is on the employer to present a factual basis to establish that all or most people affected would be unable to safely and efficiently perform the required job duties.

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