The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Physical Fitness in Public Safety

Reference Number: MTAS-1210
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: November 10, 2016
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Cities are not required by federal or state laws to administer pre-employment medical examinations or physical ability tests for firefighters or police officers. Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Respiratory Protection Standard does not require a complete medical examination for firefighters, but does require a medical screening and fit test to determine if a firefighter can wear a respirator. Cities may administer medical examinations or physical ability tests so long as the tests do not have an adverse impact on a protected class (42 U.S.C., Section 2000 e-(h)). A protected class would be persons protected by the Federal Civil Rights Act by virtue of their age, race, color, religion, sex, or national origin or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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