Work & Chronic Illness

August 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

Yesterday, an interesting question was posed on a Facebook group that I am part of- when to disclose to an employer that you have a chronic illness. Majority of those who responded said that they disclosed their illness right off the bat- one even as early as in the interview.

I understand the benefits of disclosing that information right off the bat- it gets it out there so that if something happens and you need to take time off, they already know why and are more accommodating.

However,there are negatives that go with disclosing that information as well. By disclosing such personal information, you are giving them ammunition to use against you in the future. If you disclose this in an interview, while they won’t outwardly say it, they can use it as a reason to not hire you for the job, no matter how much they like you, because of your illness. It’s part of the reason why Dan won’t let me post pictures of him or any distinguishing details about him on this blog – he fears that if a prospective employer Googles him, finds the blog, and reads about him having Crohn’s Disease, they won’t hire him.

I personally believe that you don’t disclose something like this until its absolutely necessary. In 2010, I was put in a situation where I needed to disclose to my boss that I was suffering from extreme anxiety and would have to leave work early once a week to go to therapy and might periodically miss work due to panic attacks. I was lucky that he was extremely understanding of my situation and didn’t mind. However, I believe that if I disclosed it too soon or before it was really an issue, he may have looked at me differently or opted to go with another person for the job.

The one benefit about disclosing an illness once you are in a job is that if it falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you work in a place with 15 or more employees, you ” may be protected from discrimination in hiring, promotions, pay, and other privileges of employment.”

Additionally, under the ADA, you can request “reasonable accommodations” from your employer, such as moving your desk closer to the restroom, being able to telecommute periodically, or being able to take time-off during a flare. You can read more about how the ADA protects you here.

That being said- the decision to disclose is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer and it’s completely dependent on the situation you are in.

Caring for Crohn’s is now on Facebook and Twitter! Like the page here and follow me on Twitter @caringforcrohns.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: General Disease. Tags: , , , .

Question of the Day NY Med Features Crohn’s Disease Patient

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 65,798 views

The Caged Bird Still Sings

Striving to be content with the life I have been given, instead of the life I had imagined

The Stolen Colon | Living beautifully with an ostomy

Stephanie Hughes | This blog is my way of connecting with the world about living with an ostomy and Crohn's disease.

Brian Greenberg

Documenting the life of an IBDer, Non-profit Founder/President, Financial Advisor and Triathlete.

A Guy With Crohn's

Just a guy living life with Crohn's Disease. Check out my Gluten Free recipe blog at glutenfreegluttonouschef.com

bathroomangelsblogsandvlogs

A fine WordPress.com site

Living With Crohn's & Colitis

A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness

Caring for Crohn's & UC

Caring for a loved one with Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: