View Full Version : Seen this Before-Declaring Protected Disability Status on Job Application?


VisualImagery
10-17-06, 04:43 PM
I was looking at a school district's job application that has a section about declaring a disabiltiy. This is a voluntary section. The big question is about its legality under the ADA! At the end of the application there is a section that states:

Should you want to be considered for protected class employment as a handicapped person, you may want to indicate the category which would qualify you by circling the appropriate number below:

Blindness/visual impairment
Deafness/hearing impaired
orthopedic impairment
cardiovascular disorder
mental disorder
nervous system disorder
respiratory related impairment
loss of limbs
other (specify) ________________________
Have any of you seen this on an application before? Is it legal? Would it not be a death blow to being hired? With ADD I would be checking #5 mental disorder. I can see all the discriminations that could take place. Some disabilities are obvious! Blind, deaf, wheelchair, etc.....

Other side of the coin-should one declare it because they might be wanting to hire the handicapped? For diversity reasons? Or would it add protections and accommodations (reasonable) that would not be available if declared after employment?

I am researching this, it is worrisome and with required drug tests, that means you have to prove to the employer that you are taking legally prescribed meds-at least with everyone I know in Illinois who takes schedule II drugs. You have to take in a letter from the doctor or otherwise prove which drugs you are taking-thus outing your disability! And it is well know that it is nearly impossible to prove you were not hired because of a disability! How protected are we really? ADD is certainly not like psychotic episodes, psychosis, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses that can incapacitate a person-precluding them from doing the job.

The law is hard to wade through-I don't speak legalese-and with the new privacy rights legislation for medical records, I need clarity! And, I am sure thousands of others do too!

Thanks,
RADD

Foghat
10-18-06, 02:30 AM
Here's some information I dug up for ya.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/qandaeng.htm

Q. Does an employer have to give preference to a qualified applicant with a disability over other applicants?

A. No. An employer is free to select the most qualified applicant available and to make decisions based on reasons unrelated to a disability. For example, suppose two persons apply for a job as a typist and an essential function of the job is to type 75 words per minute accurately. One applicant, an individual with a disability, who is provided with a reasonable accommodation for a typing test, types 50 words per minute; the other applicant who has no disability accurately types 75 words per minute. The employer can hire the applicant with the higher typing speed, if typing speed is needed for successful performance of the job.


Q. What limitations does the ADA impose on medical examinations and inquiries about disability?

A. An employer may not ask or require a job applicant to take a medical examination before making a job offer. It cannot make any pre-employment inquiry about a disability or the nature or severity of a disability. An employer may, however, ask questions about the ability to perform specific job functions and may, with certain limitations, ask an individual with a disability to describe or demonstrate how s/he would perform these functions.

An employer may condition a job offer on the satisfactory result of a post-offer medical examination or medical inquiry if this is required of all entering employees in the same job category. A post-offer examination or inquiry does not have to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

However, if an individual is not hired because a post-offer medical examination or inquiry reveals a disability, the reason(s) for not hiring must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The employer also must show that no reasonable accommodation was available that would enable the individual to perform the essential job functions, or that accommodation would impose an undue hardship. A post-offer medical examination may disqualify an individual if the employer can demonstrate that the individual would pose a "direct threat" in the workplace (i.e., a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others) that cannot be eliminated or reduced below the oedirect threatÓ level through reasonable accommodation. Such a disqualification is job-related and consistent with business necessity. A post-offer medical examination may not disqualify an individual with a disability who is currently able to perform essential job functions because of speculation that the disability may cause a risk of future injury.

After a person starts work, a medical examination or inquiry of an employee must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Employers may conduct employee medical examinations where there is evidence of a job performance or safety problem, examinations required by other Federal laws, examinations to determine current oefitnessÓ to perform a particular job, and voluntary examinations that are part of employee health programs.

Information from all medical examinations and inquiries must be kept apart from general personnel files as a separate, confidential medical record, available only under limited conditions.

Tests for illegal use of drugs are not medical examinations under the ADA and are not subject to the restrictions of such examinations.


Q. When can an employer ask an applicant to "self-identify" as having a disability?
A. Federal contractors and subcontractors who are covered by the affirmative action requirements of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may invite individuals with disabilities to identify themselves on a job application form or by other pre-employment inquiry, to satisfy the section 503 affirmative action requirements. Employers who request such information must observe section 503 requirements regarding the manner in which such information is requested and used, and the procedures for maintaining such information as a separate, confidential record, apart from regular personnel records.

A pre-employment inquiry about a disability is allowed if required by another Federal law or regulation such as those applicable to disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era. Pre-employment inquiries about disabilities may be necessary under such laws to identify applicants or clients with disabilities in order to provide them with required special services.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope this answers your questions...:D

VisualImagery
10-18-06, 05:29 PM
Thanks foggy,

My question to the school district would have to be-I am curious about this last section-are you receiving affirmative action funding? Still a very iffy thing for me! On one hand it might give me an advantage in being hired or a disadvantage! No easy answers are there?

Radd

Foghat
10-26-06, 03:57 AM
Radd... I think you are worrying too much about that section of the application. If you read the question above the list... It's pretty much lawyer speak... leading the witness to believe they must answer the question. Read the sentence closely... and it pretty much leaves any answer up to you. I believe this is a trick to save themselves the "trouble" of dealing with the consequenses of hiring anyone that is handicapped.

If you think your qualifications are good enough to get you the job on their own merit... I'd leave the disabilities out of the equation. If you think the disabilities might put you one up... then do so. Just make sure that you understand that an answer is optional (which I'm sure you understood:))

Below is a trick statement. It askes for you to volunteer information in hopes that benefits will be awarded to you for having a disability in the form of a job. Heh... I don't know about you... but I'd look around the parking lot to see how many cars were parked in the handicapped spots... and look around the "place of employment" well before I answered affirmative to any of those questions.


Should you want to be considered for protected class employment as a handicapped person, you may want to indicate the category which would qualify you by circling the appropriate number below:

Anywhoo... hope this helps:D

QueensU_girl
10-31-06, 02:45 PM
re: #1, pro-active disclosure of disabilities on job application.

I have only seen this with respect to Gov't jobs. I would characterize ADHD as a Neurological Disorder (of the Frontal Lobe).

Mental Disorder is Neurologal Disorder and vice versa, once you get down to brain function and wiring. Whomever decided to separate Neurology from Psychiatry really did human rights a diservice.

Take a disorder like "schizophrenia". It is really just Parkinson's Disease in reverse. Even the drugs used to treat both disorders, cause the opposing illness's feature to emerge. (e.g. schiz drugs can cause Parkinsonism; Parkinson's drugs can cause hallucinations and psychotic Sx.)

Here in Canada, there is only one "ban" to being able to get/hold a job, in terms of human rights. That criteria is called "BFOR", or "bona fide occupational requirement". For example, a 50kg woman cannot claim "discrimination" against becoming a Firefighter, if she carry/drag/lift a 125kg man, or run up 5 stories with her full gear and rebreathing equipment on.

In that case, it is about the most physically strong/fastest *person* getting the job.

And that's who we need to drag us out of smoky, burning buildings, right? <G>


--------------------------------
re: #1, psychotic disorders.


Not all psychotic disorders are permanent, or disabling. A person can have literally a one week 'episode' of Psychosis in their life and then never have another one. It is not necessarily a lifetime condition.

It is also not necessarily in the throes of schizophrenia or bipolar mania, either.

Certain conditions, medically, will make *anyone* enter psychosis. (eg. toxic psychosis (eg caused by meds), infection, etc.) For example, delirium ('acute confusional state') is technically a psychotic episode, but it is also temporary by way of time, or intervention (eg the person recovers).

I had delirium once when i bled out a lot. The blonde ER doc was wearing white and looked like an angel. One gets really really high and screwed up in their thinking when their brain does not have enough OXYGEN.
---------------------
One , other, determining factor in creating psychosis is overwhelming STRESS of some sort -- chronic or acute.

The example i am thinking of there is drug use (and withdrawal).

Skully
12-02-06, 05:57 PM
This is an interesting topic! It is voluntary and legal. They can ask, but you have the right to decline comment. In order to be covered under the ADA in regards to working, you will need to disclose your disability to human resources BEFORE any problems arise. HR will store this information in a private area, SERPERATE from your personal file. I don't believe they have to disclose to your boss the disability. I am trying to muttle my through all of this as well. I have had issues at work with preformance evaluations with not being able to meet deadlines, but I was just diagnosed this week. Which I DID disclose to both HR and my supervisors and we are working to come up with solutions to problems. They have been very understanding. Had I gotten my job if they knew I had ADHD, not likely. I am in case management with almost 60 people on my caseload. It is a very busy job and things are always going on. It is easy to miss things and not follow up on whether someone got their phone turned back on. Sounds easy to remember something that important? Well, not when you have three people in the hospital, two that are about to die, deadlines on turning paperwork into the state and all kinds of meetings.

alwaysonthego
01-25-08, 12:27 AM
[quote=QueensU_girl;351788]re: #1, pro-active disclosure of disabilities on job application.



Here in Canada, there is only one "ban" to being able to get/hold a job, in terms of human rights. That criteria is called "BFOR", or "bona fide occupational requirement". For example, a 50kg woman cannot claim "discrimination" against becoming a Firefighter, if she carry/drag/lift a 125kg man, or run up 5 stories with her full gear and rebreathing equipment on.

In that case, it is about the most physically strong/fastest *person* getting the job.

And that's who we need to drag us out of smoky, burning buildings, right? <G>

Not quite. It all depends on satisfying the 3-part BFOR test introduced in B.C. v. B.C.G.S.E.U. (1999) by the SCC. It depends on whether that standard is rationally connected to the performance of the job. And that raises the issue of the research methodologies undertaken to arrive at that standard in the first place, i.e. whether the standard was tested on male subjects vs. female subjects, as well as the evidence necessary to substantiate the legitimacy of that standard...

blueroo
01-25-08, 12:44 AM
This is an interesting topic! It is voluntary and legal. They can ask, but you have the right to decline comment. In order to be covered under the ADA in regards to working, you will need to disclose your disability to human resources BEFORE any problems arise. HR will store this information in a private area, SERPERATE from your personal file. I don't believe they have to disclose to your boss the disability.

I don't think you are entirely correct. The law is actually quite specific.

"An employer may not ask or require a job applicant to take a medical examination before making a job offer. It cannot make any pre-employment inquiry about a disability or the nature or severity of a disability."

No inquiry means no inquiry, and this application is in violation of the law.

I am also not convinced that you need to disclose a disability before a problem arises, but you do need to disclose it in order to begin the accommodation process.

alwaysonthego
01-25-08, 12:52 AM
no editing function? my apologies, queens u girl, my wrong. need to get some shut-eye :)

dyingInside
01-25-08, 12:56 AM
Ewwww... that sounds like a trap to me... I wouldn't be too quick to declare.

blueroo
01-25-08, 02:06 AM
Ewwww... that sounds like a trap to me... I wouldn't be too quick to declare.

HAH!
http://photo.gangus.com/d/26788-2/ackbar.jpg

karenm
02-11-08, 12:14 PM
As one can see below a company which is a Government Contractor (Ie An educational facility, or any company who receives monies, funding or contracts from the government) MAY ask an individual to "self-identifiy" -- They Also can have individuals Self Identify as to RACE, Sex, Nationality, ETC..

In a Simple Nutshell -
This is based upon OFCCP compliance (Office of Federal Contractors Compliance Program) Which actually is to Help PREVENT discrimination. Companies Must Store this information, and this can be Held against them and utilized as proof should there be litigation or an audit at a later date.

Hiring Managers Should NEVER See this information, it should not be privvy to them. Only H.R should have access to this data.

There are times where the Company may need to have this information immediately to allow an individual to operate the job, or at times the Disability may Automatically eliminate an individual from the job, because there is No way to apply reasonable accomodation , this is called a Bonified Occupation Qualification (eg, being blind, but applying to drive a vehicle) - So, the company may ask a question in such a way that will not discriminatate against qualified candidates -- Ie in this case they would say, are you able to drive a vehicle with or without reasonable accomodation? what accomodation is needed?

Hope this helps

Karen M
--------
Q. When can an employer ask an applicant to "self-identify" as having a disability?
A. Federal contractors and subcontractors who are covered by the affirmative action requirements of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may invite individuals with disabilities to identify themselves on a job application form or by other pre-employment inquiry, to satisfy the section 503 affirmative action requirements. Employers who request such information must observe section 503 requirements regarding the manner in which such information is requested and used, and the procedures for maintaining such information as a separate, confidential record, apart from regular personnel records.

A pre-employment inquiry about a disability is allowed if required by another Federal law or regulation such as those applicable to disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era. Pre-employment inquiries about disabilities may be necessary under such laws to identify applicants or clients with disabilities in order to provide them with required special services.

Sargon
02-14-08, 01:49 AM
The point of this section of the application is to give disabled individuals an ADVANTAGE in the hiring process! Here is the referenced text, section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act:

"Any contract in excess of $10,000 entered into by any Federal department or agency for the procurement of personal property and nonpersonal services (including construction) for the United States shall contain a provision requiring that the party contracting with the United States shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities."

The school is probably subject to the Act either as a federal subcontractor, or because it is a public school that receives federal funding. In any event, don't worry about it, just skip it.

mardi2000
03-02-08, 12:08 PM
ADD is a developmental disorder. ANYONE having a personality disorder would have to list it as a mental disorder too and they don't do that.

QueensU_girl
03-02-08, 11:40 PM
IME, 'declaring' doesn't seem to help anything.

I have had my Resume and "status" listed with the Canadian Public Service when I registered as a "New Grad" in their Job Inventory of workers.

I don't get seem to job offers from them -- just got 'shortlisted' [1x] for a fed job pre-interview -- in the 3 years, since I registered. Never got an interview, after all.

Can't say it is getting me in any back door. (It might be keeping me from getting interviews, actually! Maybe I should remove it!)

Imnapl
03-02-08, 11:49 PM
Queen, many years ago, my husband was told by a Worker's Comp social worker that if he stated his disability on a job application, only one employer in one thousand would even call him. I hope things are different now.