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Do You Have To Declare A Disability To An Employer

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Can An Employer Require Medical Examinations Or Ask Questions About A Disability

Do you have to declare your disability to your employer? Ask the Expert

If you are applying for a job, an employer cannot ask you if you are disabled or ask about the nature or severity of your disability. An employer can ask if you can perform the duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer can also ask you to describe or to demonstrate how, with or without reasonable accommodation, you will perform the duties of the job.

An employer cannot require you to take a medical examination before you are offered a job. Following a job offer, an employer can condition the offer on your passing a required medical examination, but only if all entering employees for that job category have to take the examination. However, an employer cannot reject you because of information about your disability revealed by the medical examination, unless the reasons for rejection are job-related and necessary for the conduct of the employer’s business. The employer cannot refuse to hire you because of your disability if you can perform the essential functions of the job with an accommodation.

The results of all medical examinations must be kept confidential, and maintained in separate medical files.

When Disability Affects Your Ability To Do The Job

You should disclose your disability if it directly relates to the genuine requirements of the job.

If an employer does ask you to disclose in writing any pre-existing injury or illness that might be reasonably expected to affect your ability to perform the normal duties of a job, and you dont disclose, you might miss out on workers compensation if your condition recurs or gets worse on the job.

For example, a job that requires the lifting of heavy objects needs workers who are able to lift heavy objects safely and without risk to themselves. In this case, job applicants may have to undergo pre-employment medical tests to ensure they can lift a certain weight safely. This is not discrimination as long as these tests are given to all job applicants and employees, not just to anyone an employer thinks may have a disability or injury. If your disability prevented you from lifting heavy objects safely you would have to disclose this to the employer.

Check If The Adjustment You Want Is Reasonable

Your employer has to take reasonable steps to avoid you being disadvantaged, or to provide an aid if you need one.

Theres no definition of whats reasonable but it will depend on lots of factors, like how easy it would be to make the adjustment or your employers resources – a large company might be expected to do more than a small family business, depending on the circumstances.

You should also consider:

  • if a particular change would prevent the disadvantage for you – the more likely it is to do that, the more likely it is to be reasonable
  • how practical it would be for your employer to make the change
  • the financial and other costs of making the change
  • how disruptive making the change would be
  • what financial or other help your employer has to make a change – like advice from Access to Work

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Disability Disclosure And Interviewing Techniques For Persons With Disabilities

Step one: Start with a Good Resume

Take time to write a good resume. This is a written summary of your education, training, work experience, and most importantly, contact information. A resume should have three basic components:

  • Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
  • Education and training experiences; and
  • Work history and experience.
  • Do not overlook the value of non-paid work experience such as internships, volunteer activities, and work that you have done for non-profit organisations such as a church, civic organisation, or political party.

    Step Two: Write a Cover Letter

    A cover letter is used to introduce you to the perspective employer. It should briefly identify who you are and why you are applying for the position. It also should invite the employer to contact you for an interview. Be sure to enclose a copy of you resume with this letter.

    A cover letter also gives you your first opportunity to disclose your disability. This would be to your advantage if:

  • You are applying for a job with a state or federal agency that must comply with affirmative action policies;
  • The job you are applying for directly relates to your experience as a person with a disability such as a rehabilitation counsellor; or
  • Having a disability is a qualification for the position.
  • For example a job as an addictions counsellor may require that an individual be a recovering alcoholic.

    Step Three: Completing Applications

    Step Four: The Interview

    Good Luck!

    Considerations To Keep In Mind

    Grocery Bagger With a Disability Was Ridiculed by a Customer

    It’s only reasonable that people with disabilities despite these legal protections may hesitate to share their disabilities. When faced with two qualified candidates, will employers opt to interview or hire the one without;disabilities because it’s just easier? Will a conversation about a disability overshadow talking about qualifications and job responsibilities?

    These are valid concerns. And, given the range of jobs and disabilities, it’s impossible to nail down one right answer to the question;about whether or not to disclose a disability during the application process. Nevertheless,;here are some things to mull over as you make your decision:

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    Legal Requirements Vs Reality

    The Americans with Disabilities Act forbids employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of disability, but the gap between the letter and application of the law can swallow people whole.

    Emily Johnson was denied a handicapped parking spot at work because her boss wanted to leave it open for visitors who might need it. Holly Nelson, who has a hearing impairment, was terminated from a new position during her probation period because she didnt hear a supervisors instructions. Jocelyn Mondragon called to reschedule a job interview when her motorized wheelchair broke down. Instead, the hiring manager canceled entirely. Roz Tollivers supervisor told her she was broken and would never get promoted. Allyson DuPont started her own company after getting fed up with access barriers related to her wheelchair. All of these stories are horrifying. Many are technically illegal. None are particularly unique.

    Its difficult to disclose at work because most of us know about cases of overt or covert discrimination in employment, whether its around disability or age, gender, sexual orientation, race, class or another category, said Sonya Huber, an associate professor at Fairfield University who has written extensively about living with rheumatoid arthritis. People are frightened for good reason.

    What Is Reasonable Accommodation

    Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. For example, reasonable accommodation may include:

    • providing or modifying equipment or devices,
    • job restructuring,
    • part-time or modified work schedules,
    • reassignment to a vacant position,
    • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies,
    • providing readers and interpreters, and
    • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

    An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship — that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense.

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    Funding For Assistive Technology Or Non

    Government employment assistance funding may cover the cost of work-related modifications, adaptive equipment and communication devices. The funding may also cover the costs of services such as Auslan interpreting and training in disability awareness, deafness awareness and mental health first aid.

    Find out more below.

    The Responsibilities Of The Employer

    Do I have to tell my employer about my disability?

    Generally, the only question about your disability that a potential employer is allowed to ask is:

    Can you perform the essential functions of your job with or without reasonable accommodation?

    If you have an obvious disability, or you have voluntarily disclosed your disability to a potential employer, and the employer has a reasonable belief that you would need accommodations because of the disability, he may ask whether you need accommodations and how you would perform the job with those accommodations.

    A potential employer cannot ask questions that would require you to give information about your disability during the hiring process. For example, a potential employer is not allowed to ask you:

    • How many sick days you were absent from your previous job
    • If you have ever applied for Workers Compensation
    • If you are taking prescription drugs

    Once you are offered a job, an employer can require a medical examination, if all employees for that job are asked to pass a medical examination. Attendance may be a requirement of your new job. The employer can also state that you cannot use certain medications while you are at work. However, the employer must justify that these requirements are necessary for that specific job and to conduct its business.

    For information about your rights during the job application process, take a look at this EEOC information sheet about Job Applicants and the ADA.

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    Coronavirus And Disability Discrimination

    Disabled people and many people with health conditions have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During the pandemic, employees and workers have the same rights as usual to not be discriminated against at work because of disability.

    • workplace safety
    • ways of working, for example flexible working or hybrid working
    • supporting staff who are at a high risk from COVID-19
    • redundancy

    Talking About Funding For Adjustments

    Think about what kind of reasonable adjustments would help you do your job. For example, an adapted desk, an ergonomic keyboard or flexible working. Access to Work can help to pay for adjustments. If you do not know what you need, Access to Work can also pay for assessments.

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    Action To Take If You Are Discriminated Against

    As a first step, you might want to have an informal discussion with your employer, or prospective employer, about your needs and why you feel you are being discriminated against. Remind the employer of your rights and their responsibilities under the DDA.

    If this discussion does not give you a satisfactory outcome, you can make a complaint about your treatment through your employer’s internal grievance procedure, if you are already in employment.

    If you are still not satisfied, you might want to contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, follow the ‘Questions Procedure’ or make a complaint to an Industrial Tribunal – or all three.

    If you wish to make a complaint to an Industrial Tribunal, you must do so within three months of the date of the alleged act of discrimination taking place.

    Employee Fails To Disclose Disability And Refuses Consent To Medical Advice Can They Still Claim Discrimination

    How Long Do You Have To Be Out Of Work To Apply For Long ...

    The recent case of Cox and Essex County Fire & Rescue dealt with a number of questions that we are often asked by employers. Do employees have an obligation to tell their employer if they suffer from a disability? And what happens when an employee refuses to consent to the employer obtaining a medical report?

    The facts

    Mr Cox started working for the Fire & Rescue service in 2007. In a pre-employment medical questionnaire he admitted that he suffered from mild depression and had been prescribed anti-depressants. However, the questionnaire also asked whether he suffered from any health condition or disability which affects your ability to carry out normal day to day activities and he answered No.

    In 2008 Mr Cox slipped at work and suffered a head injury. He had 3 weeks off work and later brought a personal injury claim in relation to the accident.

    In 2009 the Fire & Rescue Service began to speak to Mr Cox about concerns with his performance. Mr Cox told his line manager that he was suffering from severe concussion and was receiving cognitive behavioural therapy. He told the head of HR that he was suffering from depression and was referred to Occupational Health. The Occupational Health report advised that Mr Cox was unlikely to meet the definition of disability.

    Clearly this case involved a very specific set of facts, but there are some useful points we can learn from:

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    The Work Psychology Service

    The Work Psychology Service delivers employment assessments to a wide range of the people across Northern Ireland with disabilities and health conditions. You can be referred to this service through your local Jobs and;Benefits office.

    The service complements the work of other advisors or practitioners in dealing with complex cases.;

    The Work Psychology Service offers an assessment service for anyone in Northern Ireland who has a disability and is struggling in their job as a result of their health condition and/or disability.;The assessment will help to identify reasonable adjustments to support them in relevant aspects of their work.

    Employers and their employee who wish to be referred for an assessment should at first contact the Work Psychology Service by email or phone:

    During the COVID-19 pandemic both of these services are delivered remotely.

    Explain How Youre Disadvantaged

    You need to be able to explain to your employer why you need the adjustments youre asking for. You should tell them why its difficult for you to do your job compared to someone without your disability. The disadvantage has to be more than minor or trivial – the law calls this being put at a substantial disadvantage’.

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    Other Sources Of Disability Benefits

    You may also be eligible for benefits from the Canada Pension Plan and the Quebec Pension Plan to add to your income when you’re unable to work.

    The CPP disability benefit and QPP disability benefit are available to people who have contributed to those plans and aren’t able to work regularly at any job because of a disability.

    Disclosing Disability To An Employer: Why To When To How To

    How Long Do You Have To Be Out Of Work To Apply for Disability?

    ;herc ;;March 14, 2017;;Faculty Career Advice

    The Americans with Disabilities Act , enacted on July 26, 1990, is legislation purposed to improve the lives of people with disabilities by protecting their rights to have access to employment, public entities, transportation, public accommodations and commercial facilities, telecommunications and more. It helps people with disabilities compete equally for employment and receive the accommodations and protection they need to work.

    Are you in need of accommodations in the workplace due to a disability? Do you know what steps to take in order to get the process started? Disclosure is the first and sometimes the most difficult step. Just thinking about this can often cause anxiety and stress. So what exactly is disclosure?

    Lets look at three reasons why someone may choose to disclose a disability to their employer:

    1. To ask for job accommodations

    Tina is an activities director at an assisted living facility, required to log notes into a binder for all of the activities and residents who participate. Because of a brain injury, Tina struggles to hand write notes. She requests speech-to-text software that enables her to dictate her notes. She is then able to print them out and place them in the binder.

    2. To receive benefits or privileges of employment

    3. To explain an unusual circumstance

    Thinking about your next career move?

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    Disability Benefits For Veterans

    You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.

    You may get social assistance payments from:

    • your province or territory
    • your First Nation

    These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.

    You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:

    • medications
    • medical aids or devices

    The Court Dismisses Delavals Lawsuit

    The federal district court dismissed the case before an actual trial took place. The judge ruled that Delaval was not disabled or perceived as disabled, so he was not protected by the ADA or state disability law. In addition, Delaval had no evidence of any impairments substantially limiting a major life activity. Further, Delaval failed to rebut defendants legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for firing him .

    Delaval appealed the dismissal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The court agreed that the case should be dismissed. Its decision explained that while the e-mails between Dallas and Delaval may have raised a question as to whether any of the absences were authorized, they did not show that PTechs given reason for firing Delaval was made up to cover discrimination. Further, while Delaval may have believed he was discriminated against, there was no evidence that his belief was reasonable. The court also stated that PTech had no legal obligation to accommodate Delaval. The court explained the following legal points:

    • An employee must explain that the proposed change in working conditions is for a medical condition.
    • After an employee requests an accommodation, the employer needs to engage in the interactive process with the employee to find an appropriate accommodation.
    • If an employer fails to engage in this process in good faith, it violates the ADA. If the breakdown is caused by the employee, there is no legal violation.

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    Could Disclosure Be A Good Thing

    Billy Saunders thinks so. He recently got creative with his job search and uploaded a video CV to YouTube, with help from a mentor. In it, he is completely up front about his disabilities. “It’s a way of telling people who you are, what you can do and what people might see as barriers,” Saunders says. “If you give them advance warning that you are visually impaired, then they aren’t going to get you to fly a plane.”

    Saunders’ CV includes footage of him using specialist technology, playing piano and showing off his talent for figuring out the exact day of any date in any given year. It was created by small recruitment agency A Potential Diamond, which helps people with autism, Asperger syndrome or mild learning disabilities find work. The video had 293 views in its first three days.

    If you don’t give advanced warning, you won’t necessarily get an accessible interview. The room could be too small or upstairs, which would cause problems for wheelchair users or with mobility impairments. Assessment tests may be unreadable or cause difficulty if you’re dyslexic or have vision difficulties. The interview itself may even be difficult if, for instance, you’re hearing impaired and there is no loop, or if it is held in a room that echoes.

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