A logo with a green background featuring the letter E and L combined like the letter "elf.
The logo for the esteemed employment law firm.
A hand holding a stethoscope on a green background.

Can An Employer Require an Annual Physical?

Do you know whether or not your employer can require an annual physical? If your answer to this question is no, continue to read because this article provides information about if your employer can or cannot require you to take an annual physical. Other topics in this article discussed are: medical exams after hiring, employment lawsuit if a medical exam violates employment law, should you have the right to choose your doctor, should employers pay for medical exams, what happens if a job offer no longer exists after you receive medical exam results, and what happens if you refuse to take an unwanted drug test or physical exam. 

Is It Possible To Require An Annual Physical?

In some cases, yes. Certain employers can require their employees to take an annual physical. One such instance would be if your employer is a health care provider. A healthcare provider organization has the right to require employees to have an annual physical as a condition of continued employment. 

Employers who perform manual labor and first responder work may also be required to take an annual physical. Employers can also sometimes require specific medical examinations or screenings as long as they are related to the job and not just a general check-up. You might want to check your employee handbook for specifics about what may be required of you in this regard and how often it must occur.

Now that you know, in some cases, employers can require annual physicals, let’s take a look at some information on medical exams after hiring. 

Medical Exams After Hiring

You may wonder if employers are allowed to require medical exams after hiring a candidate. The answer is, yes! Employers are allowed to require medical exams after hiring a candidate, although some exceptions exist. For example, if the job is not safety-sensitive and the exam would cause an undue hardship to the employee, such as requiring them to take time off work. 

The most common type of pre-employment exam is physicals. If you’ve had to take a pre-employment physical exam, you know that the physical is taken after the candidate has been offered a job. These exams aim to screen for any diseases that might be transmittable in the workplace. Also, employees are required to take physicals pre-employment to see if they can perform job tasks. While the pre-employment physical is very important, there are many other pre-employment tests that are conducted at the request of an employer. 

Since there are many different tests, it’s important to note which one(s) your employer requires you to undergo before beginning employment with their company. 

These include drug testing, background checks, psychological testing, criminal records checks, and medical examinations. Medical exams can be administered either by the employer or by a healthcare professional contracted by the employer.

Employment Lawsuit If Health Exams Violate Employment Law

Employers have to follow specific rules when it comes to their employees. If certain employers require an annual physical, they may violate employment law. 

Simply put, an employee cannot be required to undergo an annual physical examination unless the exam is job-related or required by law. 

For instance, if a company hires a bus driver who knows the driver will be driving around children, then employers are allowed to ask for a yearly health examination from all of their drivers in some states. 

However, if the company does not require yearly physicals for all its drivers or has no reasonable suspicion that there’s something wrong with one of its drivers’ health statuses, then asking for an annual physical could violate employment law. 

Even more problematic, many employees who had previously refused such examinations for privacy reasons now feel pressured into giving up this right as employers look for ways to save money on healthcare costs.

If Your Employer Requires An Annual Physical, Should You Have The Right To Choose Your Doctor?

In the United States, it is legal for certain employers to require an annual physical. However, if your employer requires a yearly physical, they can’t mandate who you choose as your doctor. 

You have the right to pick your doctor and medical facility for your annual physical as long as it’s within a certain radius of your workplace. This is because your health is nobody’s business but yours. If you feel that the provider assigned by your employer is not meeting your needs or expectations, then ask them to give you another provider or find another provider on your own.

Many people are surprised when they learn that their healthcare providers can be anyone in their local community who meets the standards set forth by federal law and state regulations. 

A significant benefit of choosing one’s doctors and facilities includes ensuring access to whatever treatments one wants, including alternative methods that may not be available at an employer-provided healthcare facility. 

Some employers will provide vouchers for employees to receive free or reduced-cost treatment from a particular clinic or physician group.

If Your Employer Covers A Part Of Your Insurance, Shouldn’t They Pick Up The Tab For The Exam?

The short answer is yes. Employers should be expected to pay for any medical examinations required by law, but not those that are voluntary or elective. 

The most common example is a physical exam. If an employer requires a physical exam, they should pay for it. But if the material is only needed for employment, then it’s up to the individual employee to cover it themselves. Some employers may offer coverage of these exams through the employee’s health insurance plan.

The same principle applies to other medical examinations, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and Pap smears – in other words, tests that may find hidden signs of illness and cancer – if they’re medically necessary according to accepted professional standards of care.

What If The Job Offer Dies After Receiving My Medical Exam Result?

If the employer chooses not to hire you based on your medical exam and the offer dies, you will be able to get a letter from the hospital confirming that you had an exam. This letter can be used in future job searches to show potential employers that you are qualified. 

What Happens If I Refuse To Take An Unwanted Drug Test Or Physical Exam?

If you refuse to take an unwanted drug test or physical exam, your employer can fire you. If you are fired for not taking the test, you might be able to get unemployment benefits, but it might be hard to find another job.


Certain employers can require an annual physical as a condition of employment. However, if you’re unhappy with your physical, it’s best to talk with the employer about their expectations and see if any alternatives can be considered.

we will review Your Case for Free

Skip to content