Wednesday, March 11, 2015

To disclose or not?

I had to edit an article recently written by a human resources officer regarding hiring people with disabilities. The author spent some time discussing the American Disabilities Act. The author discussed the benefits outweighed any potential risks of hiring someone with a disability, how someone with a disability is often more reliable, etc.  

Are you aware diabetes is covered by the American Disabilities Act?

The Society for Human Resource Management states: 
 Although there is not an exhaustive list of disabilities under the ADA, as a result of the changes made by the ADAAA, the EEOC has published four Q&A Series guidance documents on medical conditions that would easily be considered a disability within the meaning of the law because they substantially limited a major life activity. Those medical conditions are:
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual Disabilities.
- See more at: http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/cms_011495.aspx#sthash.xZopKJG8.dpuf

Although there is not an exhaustive list of disabilities under the ADA, as a result of the changes made by the ADAAA, the EEOC has published four Q&A Series guidance documents on medical conditions that would easily be considered a disability within the meaning of the law because they substantially limited a major life activity. Those medical conditions are:
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual Disabilities.
- See more at: http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/cms_011495.aspx#sthash.xZopKJG8.dpuf
Although there is not an exhaustive list of disabilities under the ADA, as a result of the changes made by the ADAAA, the EEOC has published four Q&A Series guidance documents on medical conditions that would easily be considered a disability within the meaning of the law because they substantially limited a major life activity. Those medical conditions are:
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual Disabilities.
- See more at: http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/cms_011495.aspx#sthash.xZopKJG8.dpuf

So there you go, diabetes is covered. That is a good thing, right? It could be but it might not be. 

From the article I was editing, companies with more than 50 employees must prepare an affirmative action plan to track recruitment and hiring of individuals with disabilities. For 2015 plans, the goal was 7 percent. 

Okay, so that makes being covered by the ADA act a good thing because it could help put a person with diabetes in the "to-interview" pile. 

But do companies really follow these things? Also, will they just interview but not hire and then use it as a reason to not hire a person with diabetes? 

I've had to go through more than enough job searches (are they not some of the most exhausting thing?) and the majority of the time you have to complete a portion of the application regarding gender, race, veteran status and now, if you are protected by the ADA act. 

I'm probably not alone in struggling to answer the questions. Do I mark yes I am protected by the ADA act? It could potentially help me get to an interview (but shouldn't my amazing resume get me there anyway?) but it could potentially be used as a reason, at least subconsciously, to not hire me. If it is between two people and everything is the same except one person has diabetes and the other does not, I'd place all the money in the world that they will hire the person without diabetes. Stinks to admit that but it is reality, unfortunately. Or do I mark "I decline to answer" and potentially get lost in the shuffle? 

To me, it is a no-win situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

 

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