COMMUNITY QUESTION: Job hunting with lupus

AlyssaWinegardenAlyssaWinegarden New Life Outlook
Brandy asks: 'So, I am curious. I have been out of the work force since my diagnosis 3 years ago. I interviewed for a job yesterday and was upfront about my lupus. The interview ended immediately after with 'we'll call you.' My question is, how do you handle interviews? Do you disclose your lupus? Any help or pointers you can give would be great.'

Comments

  • natasha1993natasha1993 Member
    edited May 2016
    Disclosure of a health issue during an interview can lead to interviewer bias/disability discrimination. "Disability Discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability." (For more information visit https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm) Although it appears you provided the information to be upfront, an employer cannot ask questions about your mental or physical health during the interview process for this very reason. Therefore, I recommend that you do not provide answers to questions employers cannot ask. Employers ARE allowed to ask "Can you perform the essential job functions of the position, with or without a reasonable accommodation?" Review the job description thoroughly to determine if the position is the right fit for you. In this case, I recommend you be honest with YOURSELF. Is this position the best fit for you based on your health concerns (i.e. heavy lifting, prolonged standing, high stress/volume environment, etc)? Simply state yes (or no). After an offer of employment, typically during the orientation/new hire paperwork process, the employer will provide you with a form asking whether you need a job/reasonable accommodation. If, based on the job description, you need an accommodation and after disclosing YES on the form, the employer should provide you an accommodation form to take to your doctor, along with a copy of your job description, for completion and return to your employer. This way you are clear to your employer as to what, if any, reasonable accommodations you will need. Do not linger - return forms promptly. "The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer ("undue hardship")." (EEOC) If the employer does not provide you with a form then request one from them.

    In the end, the interviewer's response is a good indicator of how you may have been treated if you had become an employee and, down the road, you needed an accommodation.

    Hope this helps!
  • AlyssaWinegardenAlyssaWinegarden New Life Outlook
    @natasha1993 Great answer! Very helpful and informative :)

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