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Thread: Disability Disclosures for Job Applications?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Domosoyo View Post
    Thanks for all the input! I'm going to hand it all over to her and she can make changes accordingly. If she actually has to lift or perform any other tasks that she can't it can be written into an Individual Work Plan.

    It seems that yes, not being totally forthright is the way to go to at least be considered for an interview. Just when she was really getting down on the process a freelance request came her way from a national news organization. Looks to be a year-long contract to supplement their election year coverage.

    usajobs.gov is a great place to check out, thanks Titanium!
    Nice, an election gig seems like a great way to break into the business.

  2. #22

    That is employment discrimination at its finest!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lavender lady View Post
    If someone said straight our that is an illegal question. I would find a way to end the interview, there is no way I would hire them no matter how good they may be. At my company you need to be able to lift and move that 25 lb from a back room into the front of my store. I am always concerned about a person lying and then hurting themselves.
    Wow! That is employment discrimination at its finest! End the interview because the person was asked an illegal question? No need to defend yourself now.

    I believe people here do not know what a legal and illegal question is?

    Lifting 25lbs is a legal question in person and online. You could be a female who is 4 foot 2 inches and may not be able to lift 25lbs. This person my have an androgynous name such as Pat, Tracy, Francis, Rene', Sam, Charlie, Jo, Ricki and Kim to name a few.

    Examples of illegal questions:

    What is your disability?
    Why do you use a wheelchair?
    How do you use the bathroom?
    Do your parents take care of you?
    Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
    Why do you walk funny?
    Were you born that way?
    How long were you like that?
    What do you have spinal muscular atrophy?
    Have you ever filed a workers compensation claim?
    Have you ever suffered a workplace injury?
    Are you married? Are you single? Do you have any children?
    What prescription drugs are you currently taking?
    Have you ever been treated for mental health problems?


    Usually any question pertaining to your disability is illegal question to ask.

    Now an employer can use your disability for work place accommodations and safety which is legal to ask such as:

    You are the first person in our company that uses a wheelchair? I don't know if our desk or cubical furniture will work for you. If I show you them can tell me what works better for you or if we need to purchase special furniture to suit your needs so you can work productively with in our company?

    You will be using a computer most of the time. Do you have any special requirements for adaptive computer equipment we need to purchase for you to do your work productively?

    I do know our building was built in 2010 and is ADA compliant with the city's building codes. Are the entrance doors ok to get in? Do we need to add power door openers on them? I need to show you around where you be working. You tell me since you use a wheelchair if everything is accessible or do we need to move items for your safety?

    We own this whole building all four floors with an elevator. Being a wheelchair user where is the best place to have your office? (This question is very important and you better have an answer ready. This was one of my requirements I requested when I got moved to another building and NASA found it for me. If you don't know, ask me?)

    I need to show our restroom. I do know we have one handicap stall that is extra wide with a sink in it. You tell me if it is accessible for you?

    An employer should know the EEO laws before they start hiring people.

    Ti
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

  3. #23
    Great explanation, Ti!

    If someone tries to exclude you from getting an interview for a position on the basis of the 25lb. test, they would need to be able to prove that such tasks are an "essential job component". So if you are applying for a job working in a warehouse or shipping dept., this may be an essential job component. Not so easy to prove for someone who will have a desk job and where there are rare and infrequent times where lifting would be needed, and it is not an essential job component, and the employer would be required to provide a reasonable accommodation, such as assigning another employee to do those tasks for you.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Great explanation, Ti!

    If someone tries to exclude you from getting an interview for a position on the basis of the 25lb. test, they would need to be able to prove that such tasks are an "essential job component". So if you are applying for a job working in a warehouse or shipping dept., this may be an essential job component. Not so easy to prove for someone who will have a desk job and where there are rare and infrequent times where lifting would be needed, and it is not an essential job component, and the employer would be required to provide a reasonable accommodation, such as assigning another employee to do those tasks for you.

    (KLD)
    Indeed, but there is nothing you can do if they just automatically choose not to interview everyone who checks the box stating that they cannot lift 25 pounds. You can't prove that this was the reason why you weren't interviewed, and therefore never have the opportunity to dispute the fact that the 25 pound lift requirement was an "essential job component".

    I think we're all in agreement that what Ti says is illegal is illegal (I'll take his word for it at least, he's a smart dude).

    The hurdle to getting reasonable accommodations is employment, and unfortunately the hurdle to employment is an interview where there is a very high likelihood you will be asked these illegal questions.

    What should happen and what happens in the real world are two entirely different things.

    If you want to get to the point of being employed and you're sure that the 25# weight limit is artificial since it's a desk job you're applying for I suppose you can go about it any way you want. I personally would check the box that I could (which is technically true for me, I can lift 25 pounds if it's on my lap, just not from the floor), and deal with it in the interview.

    I also absolutely agree with Ti that employers should know the EEOC regulations, but if they use an artificial screening tool (asking everyone if they can lift 25 pounds and automatically ruling out everyone for every job if they say yes) you're never going to get the chance to file that EEOC lawsuit because the EEOC will know that there's no way they can prove that an employer failed to give you an interview solely because of how you answered on that (perfectly legal) question.

    Laws are nice, they serve a purpose (usually), but one must make decisions strategically based on the facts at hand and the way the world really works, not the way we wish it did or the way that it should.

  5. #25
    As a vocational rehab. counselor for 20 years we often suggested writing in "will discuss" on an application. If it's an interview question, the applicant should be ready to discuss what would need to be lifted and have a discussion about accommodations that may help them.
    One must be cautious of "on-line" completion of applications, although some places require this.
    Strongly suggest she tool around the neighborhood by chair or by car and make a list of potential employers; in addition, a list of any trade or community publications to contact. At a time like this one must be assertive, if not a bit aggressive, in job search.
    The state vocational rehab. department can sometimes pay something to a private employer for a period of on the job training of disabled new employee. The applicant is the one to scout out potential employers as the state voc. rehab. does not have any "list". The suggestion of Federal employment application is definitely a good one. The sooner the better!

    It helps to practice interviews and keep things pointed toward the job duties. I am not a fan of stating whether a question is illegal - too negative to challenge the interviewer - save that until after you are hired and you can explain how a question like that can get them into trouble.

    Hope you let us know how it goes with your daughter - we're all hoping she lands a great job!

  6. #26
    If ever asked "are you able to lift 25 lbs" the answer should be yes. If they call you on it just tell them "you didn't say all at once".

  7. #27
    I'm very happy for your daughter.

    Two of her most valuable assets will be a great attitude and can-do spirit. Whatever she faces, I hope she maintains those. They will serve her well.

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