To Disclose or Not To Disclose: Disability in the Workplace
By Martin Jauregui
workplace Disability Despite the changes that have resulted since the passing of the ADA and the country’s changing social climate, individuals living with medical disabilities still face an uphill battle when it comes to finding a job. For many, the simple act of making it to the interview can be a challenge itself. When these individuals are given the opportunity to interview, they often face the very important question of disclosure. Some hold the view that all disabilities should be disclosed to potential employers, while others feel as if some disabilities need not be revealed. Regardless of the situation, the bottom line is that disclosing a disability is less of a legal issue, and more of an ethical decision.
Legally, the only time a person is required to disclose an existing disability is in the case where their ability to complete essential job duties may be negatively affected by the disability. In some cases, disclosing a disability can actually strengthen a person’s standing with an employer. Such actions can be viewed as a sign of character or strength by a potential employer who might truly appreciate the openness and honesty.
When a disability is outwardly noticeable, there is really no need to cover it up. In fact, disclosing an obvious disability is actually a good idea, especially if you are going to need accommodations during the interview process or if it is going to directly affect your job performance. The more difficult decision of disclosure is left to those individuals with disabilities who are not outwardly noticeable. For them, careful consideration must be taken as to when, or even if, a disability should be disclosed. On one hand, the person does not want to come off a someone who is not truthful for failing to reveal a disability, but on the other hand, the person does not want to reveal a disability if doing so is going to put their chances of being hired at risk.
Read more: To Disclose or Not To Disclose: Disability in the Workplace