Disclosing Epilepsy on Application?

Disclosing Epilepsy on Application?
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#1

I was diagnosed with epilepsy 3 years ago and it is completely under control through medication. I’m not yet ready to start applying to jobs in my area… I’m just checking up on other languages I need to get familiar with while learning JS.

However, I’ve been following one company off and on for a while now. Today I decided to just look at the available positions and they have a preemptive application form set up next to the job description.

Scrolling through, I noticed they asked if the applicant wants to optionally disclose things like gender, military status (which I anticipated) but also anything that qualifies as a disability according to the federal government. They listed about 30-40 different things that qualify and epilepsy is one of them.

The company seems to be small, less than 50 employees if I had to guess. So I’m thinking it could potentially be an incentive (taxes or something) to hire me or someone else with a verifiable disability?

But at the same time, I don’t want to give them any extra reasons not to hire me.

Anyone have experience with this and can share their experience?


#2

It’s up to you whether or not you disclose it. It is illegal for any company to disallow employment based on a disability. And they may have incentive…or they may not.

That being said, you don’t ever have to disclose a disability unless you need accommodation. I am not a lawyer only having had to deal with this myself. I wouldn’t disclose unless I needed help.

On top of that, no one should see that data except HR. And if HR uses that as an excuse, they are probably a shitty company to work for. So disclosure should not matter.

Lastly, there are still not so good people to work for…but you won’t know it till you find them.


#3

Thanks for your input, @Tirjasdyn. Yeah, the application was very upfront about it being completely optional. Here’s the snippet about it:

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

Regarding disabilities after employment:

[…] You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

Reading this doesn’t set off my red flags, really. But I also don’t want to go into it naively just because I want to “break into tech”, you know?

Of course, I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. Just figured I’d hear from you and others already in the tech labor force.


#4

Every company has the form. They may say a few things differently but everyone will have you fill out and chose whether or not to disclose regardless of the job or gov affiliation. :smiley:


#5

Ahh. I guess I don’t remember because the last time I had to do an application was before the diagnosis lol. Good to know, @Tirjasdyn!


#6

No worries. :). My daughter is looking for her first job and asked me about it too. She’s applying to a gas station. :smiley:


#7

As noted already-- that form along with the gender, race and military veteran status ones is more or less standard. It’s supposed to be separate from the actual application process and used for data points I guess for the government.

I myself have done it both ways… said yes to the disability question and also said “I do not wish to disclose” . Neither seem to really have any impact on my application and progress in the process (or lack thereof…).

With your case- I don’t think you have to disclose that to anybody even during interview or after being offered the job or onboarding since it’s under control with medication and likely won’t affect your job.

For me it’s a bit trickier maze-- when to disclose and how to and what to tell them as my disability MAY affect the job I do (mainly telephone use and big meetings…).

As Tirjasdin there are still people who are not so great- I’ve run into them myself… many ghost me as soon as I either disclose, they figure it out or I ask for accommodations. I adore and appreciate the recruiters and companies who ARE willing to work with me and I always try to put my best foot forward so as not to put it all on them either.