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Q&A: How to or not to disclose a disability to a potential employer?

3 Comments 26 July 2011

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3 Comments so far

  1. bschaf13 says:

    If you are not applying for federal jobs or law enforcement jobs, do not tell them shtit. the can not find out if you have a disability becasue of the privacy act. so dont tell them anything unless you are with law enforcement because they find out everything. good luck

  2. majormomma says:

    I’m not an advocate of lying during an interview, because the information will usually come out later and then you can be fired for lying on your application.

    Create a resume and, in it, simply list the dates of service, your job title, and your rank at discharge. If you have to submit a copy of your DD214, do so without comment. If a potential employer asks why you were discharged early, simply tell them you had a service-related medical condition and that you are now cleared to work. If pressed, just explain that the military requires a much higher level of fitness than does a civilian job and that the medical condition will not interfere with your ability to do this job. Don’t go into details as to what the medical condition is.

    It’s true that you cannot be discriminated against due to a disability if you are otherwise qualified to do the job with reasonable accommodations by the employer. However, it’s rarely worth it to legally pursue an employer who doesn’t hire you because the employer can also say that a better qualified candidate was hired (or give any number of reasons why you weren’t hired).

    Hopefully, most employers will appreciate your military service and the qualities you can bring to the job. When I was a lab manager, I proactively hired ex-military because they didn’t whine, they could work well under pressure, were efficient, tended to be quite proficient in their jobs, worked well with others, and didn’t think it was an imposition to have to work extra shifts as needed. I also once hired a lab tech whose legs were partially paralyzed from an accident. She kept crutches in the lab and used them to move around, although she could stand or sit in one place without them. She was an excellent employee and kept pace with the other, more physically able employees.

    Good luck to you.

  3. rwa000 says:

    the problem is if you don’t disclose it in the beginning then they will expect you to perform like everyone else, telling them after the fact you would not be covered by ADA because an employer must make a “reasonable” accommodation for your disability if you don’t disclose you would be hard pressed to get them to make the accommodation for you because you were not truthful rom the beginning and could be terminated for cause

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