The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require employers to hire people whose own health or safety would be put at risk by performing the job.

The statute clause that includes a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace, has been expanded to include a threat to self-defense.

One impact: The Supreme Court ruling gives employers the option to screen before hiring workers who may not be able to tolerate shiftwork based on a health condition. This enables companies to avoid the high costs of turnover, absenteeism and training workers who will quit prematurely, according to experts at Circadian Technologies, Inc., a research and consulting firm providing corporate programs to reduce the costs, risks and liabilities of human factors in the 24/7 workplace.