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Thread: Disability Disclosures for Job Applications?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Disability Disclosures for Job Applications?

    Hey All- My daughter just graduated college and hasn't had a bite yet as far as jobs go. So many applications are done online and filtered out before they even get to a person to review. We've noticed that some of the questions on the applications would reveal a disability. Example, "Are you able to lift 25 pounds." She is filling this out as "no" when it comes up. She is applying for desk jobs basically in her field of Journalism. (Social Media Management, Copy Editing...)

    Do you just put "yes" and if you get an interview let them know you need an accomodation to lift the damn 25 pounds? In short, even though they promote hiring of persons with disabilities the questions on their applications are great for filtering OUT persons with disabilities.

    Anyone have experience in getting past this type of barrier? What did you do?

  2. #2
    There are lots of ways to determine if someone has the "stamina" to do a job. It also indicates whether someone will need to be available to help the disabled worker with things.

    Be extermely careful with work from home offers too. Big companies have HR departments that study the effectiveness of employees that are straddling being on disability and being able to work from home.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Domosoyo View Post
    Hey All- My daughter just graduated college and hasn't had a bite yet as far as jobs go. So many applications are done online and filtered out before they even get to a person to review. We've noticed that some of the questions on the applications would reveal a disability. Example, "Are you able to lift 25 pounds." She is filling this out as "no" when it comes up. She is applying for desk jobs basically in her field of Journalism. (Social Media Management, Copy Editing...)

    Do you just put "yes" and if you get an interview let them know you need an accomodation to lift the damn 25 pounds? In short, even though they promote hiring of persons with disabilities the questions on their applications are great for filtering OUT persons with disabilities.

    Anyone have experience in getting past this type of barrier? What did you do?
    How is it possible that our Erin has graduated from college?!?!?!?!?!
    CONGRATULATIONS to you, your family and Erin! We know it has been a family affair and effort. NL and I wish Erin all the best...

  4. #4
    Long, long ago I was asked if there were any health concerns (something like that) that would prevent me from bla bla bla. I answered no, knowing yes was not an answer that would be in my favor. So I would consider saying yes and if questioned about it respond about the accommodation to lift the 25lb if needed.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Domosoyo View Post
    Hey All- My daughter just graduated college and hasn't had a bite yet as far as jobs go. So many applications are done online and filtered out before they even get to a person to review. We've noticed that some of the questions on the applications would reveal a disability. Example, "Are you able to lift 25 pounds." She is filling this out as "no" when it comes up. She is applying for desk jobs basically in her field of Journalism. (Social Media Management, Copy Editing...)

    Do you just put "yes" and if you get an interview let them know you need an accomodation to lift the damn 25 pounds? In short, even though they promote hiring of persons with disabilities the questions on their applications are great for filtering OUT persons with disabilities.

    Anyone have experience in getting past this type of barrier? What did you do?
    You should always lie about questions like that. Seriously. One could view that question as morally (though probably not technically) unethical/illegal because it can be used to screen out applicants with disabilities.

    If it makes your daughter feel better, for physicians where I live they ask a question on your license application and renewal that goes something along the lines of "Have you ever had a physical or mental disorder that affected your ability to do your job". Nevermind the physical side of that, the statistics say apx 1 in 3 physicians report symptoms of depression at any given time and half of that 1 in 3 report (in anonymous surveys) that their depression affects their work. Physicians have the highest suicide rate among any job.

    I've asked probably 30 physicians whether or not they've checked that box. Everyone laughs and says of course not. Now maybe I happened to know a remarkably plucky group of physicians, 30 isn't a huge sample size, but the only people I've heard say they ticked "yes" in that box were ones with very prestigious careers (ie. it would be hard to take their license away) and they only did it to make a political point that the question shouldn't be asked and then talked about it at a national conference where they got a lot of applause, but the vibe I got from the audience was that everyone was happy for their courage, but personally was going to continue to select "no" whether or not it was a lie because they didn't want to risk losing their license.


    So all that to say that at least 1 in 7 or so physicians (probably a lot more) lies about the kind of questions your daughter is getting asked on a regular basis, not sure if that makes lying on the question any more morally justifiable, just to point out she'd be in good company if she were to fib a bit.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I don't know Erin's injury level, but can she do her own pressure lifts? Surely she weighs more than 25lbs, sooooo..."Yes" might not technically be a lie...they're not specifying HOW or WHAT 25lbs gets lifted. Just a thought.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  7. #7

    usajobs.gov

    Quote Originally Posted by Domosoyo View Post
    Hey All- My daughter just graduated college and hasn't had a bite yet as far as jobs go. So many applications are done online and filtered out before they even get to a person to review. We've noticed that some of the questions on the applications would reveal a disability. Example, "Are you able to lift 25 pounds." She is filling this out as "no" when it comes up. She is applying for desk jobs basically in her field of Journalism. (Social Media Management, Copy Editing...)

    Do you just put "yes" and if you get an interview let them know you need an accomodation to lift the damn 25 pounds? In short, even though they promote hiring of persons with disabilities the questions on their applications are great for filtering OUT persons with disabilities.

    Anyone have experience in getting past this type of barrier? What did you do?
    I started job hunting June 1991, before the ADA was passed. This is before the Internet. I had to use envelope, letter and stamp. My resume had a lot disability related activities on it and I did not get one interview. I removed everything disability related and I started to get interviews! When a date and time was assigned I then asked the question, "Is your facility/building accessible?" At that moment they had someone with a disability.

    During the interview I was asked illegal questions by ADA. I felt if I didn't answer them I wouldn't get the job so I answered them.

    Today, if an employer asks you an illegal question you can answer him three different ways.

    1. That is an illegal question to ask me. (That would tell the employer you mean business.)

    2. How does that question relate to the position I am applying for?

    3. Say nothing. Plea the 5th, the employer will understand it.

    All are legal answers to say.

    Still 27 years later after signing the ADA, I still believe job discrimination towards people with disabilities still exists. I would not mention one word you have a disability on a paper or online resume' or online application.

    Applying with the US federal government you do have to check the box indicating you do have a disability because you are brought aboard by a special hiring authority and they need to know what work place modifications or special adaptive equipment you need. Your online resume' also goes to a different department that brings aboard people with disabilities and they are very sensitive towards your needs. They want you to work for them. The US federal government is the model work place for people with disabilities in this great country.

    If you do not answer a question properly by lying that is grounds to get fired. If the employer finds out they can wait a month before you retire and fire you on the spot because you lied on your application. Before I got injured I work for a beer distribution company and the truck drivers would drink on the job. A month before they retired or you gave the company a difficult time they would wait until you came back with alcohol on your breathe and fire you on the spot. I saw it happen several times.

    If you daughter cannot pick up 20 pounds please check the box that you cannot pick 20 pounds. That is a general question asked by many employers and mostly it is 50 pounds.

    The US Department of Justice has a special hiring feature for people with disabilities called "Customized employment." Customized employment would eliminate that request to pick up 20 pounds. It gives you features such as flex time, First 40 (Work your first 40 hours and that is your work week.), flexible work schedule, no physical exam for the position and many more different type of work requirements. Check out their website.

    Have you daughter apply with US federal government at www.usajobs.gov and apply for a federal position in your local area.

    Today with social media sites I'd suggest your daughter shutdown all of her social media accounts. Even though its illegal for employers not to look there on company time. You don't know what they do off hours. To be on the safe side close down all social media sites until employed.

    Just this past year two doctors have told me, "People with disabilities who work are healthier that their counterparts who don't work."

    Ti
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    Last edited by titanium4motion; 06-21-2019 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Social media clause added
    "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by titanium4motion View Post
    1. That is an illegal question to ask me. (That would tell the employer you mean business.)

    2. How does that question relate to the position I am applying for?

    3. Say nothing. Plea the 5th, the employer will understand it.

    All are legal answers to say.
    You're right all of these are legal questions to ask, but unless your disability is an invisible one (in which question two might allow you to skirt around the question) answering in this way is almost a sure way to not be hired.

    Put yourself in the employer's shoes. If someone tells you during an interview "That question you just asked me is illegal", are you going to hire them? Hell no you're not. While telling them their question is illegal is far from threatening to sue them, that's how it's going to sound to them and they're going to think "oh man, if I hire this person we'll have to walk on pins and needles to not get in trouble". I think answering this way is a horrible idea. I agree it is 100% legal for the disabled applicant to rely in this way, but the absolute best case scenario is that the employer, who might have been considering hiring this person, is not put on the defensive as they have just been accused of breaking the law. I can't imagine an interview continuing to flow well after a statement like that. The most likely scenario is that for the rest of the interview they are just going to be thinking to themselves how they can cover their asses in case you sue for not getting the job because there's no way they want you in their organization.

    Over the past 4-5 years I submitted about 150 applications and went on about 25 interviews. In more than half of those interviews I was asked (by at least one person, generally each interview involved 4-5 different interviewers) at least one question which they shouldn't have asked by law. I answered all of them honestly because I knew I could do the job and I knew I could prove to them that I could do the job and that I was a nice guy at the same time. Also I put loud and clear in my personal statement (particular to my application with no real equivalent place in a resume) that I had a disability. I didn't want a job interview where I would be ruled out the moment I rolled through the door.

    I agree with Oddity's statement that any disabled applicant should check yes they are able to do something if there is any way they can possibly do that thing, even if it takes some logical gymnastics.
    Can you lift 25 pounds? Absolutely, so long as it's tied to my powerchair and we're going up a ramp! Time to click "yes"
    Are you able to stand for long periods of time? Yep, so long as I have a reasonable accommodation of a standing frame that's no issue at all! Alternatively "standing" for me is interpreted as sitting upright, and I do that all day long anyway!


    But I think I've already established my amoral level of comfort with lying on stupid click boxy items. Did you really read the last user agreement update? Or did you just click the box like the rest of us?



    So to summarize my opinion (which is worth exactly every penny you paid for it):
    1. Always lie on check boxy items, you don't want a computer program ruling you out. Your goal is to get to a human in an interview and prove to them that not only can you do the job, you're the best person for it.
    2. Always be open and honest with your interviewer about your abilities even though they aren't supposed to ask about disabilities. Following the letter of the law is a great way to avoid answering questions that should have never been asked, but poor strategy if your goal is actually getting a job.



    Also I agree with Ti that the Federal government (and often state governments) are great places to find employment for people with disabilities and there are plenty of PR type positions within these organizations that would seem to be very appropriate for someone with a journalism type degree.

    Voc rehab is absolutely awesome (at least where I used to live) and if you're not involved with them, definitely give them a shot. If they can get you an interview it's because employers already know that you're coming with a disability so you won't be at any disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by titanium4motion View Post
    Today with social media sites I'd suggest your daughter shutdown all of her social media accounts. Even though its illegal for employers not to look there on company time. You don't know what they do off hours. To be on the safe side close down all social media sites until employed.
    I agree with this. Part of the reason why I haven't posted on social media in years and shut down all my old accounts when applying.

    Just FYI it's not entirely clear what you're saying about the legality of potential employers searching your social media accounts, but that is legal whether they are at work or at home. One could argue that in this day and age an employer would be neglecting their duty of due diligence if they didn't investigate your social media accounts (even more so if you're going to be managing theirs!).
    https://careertrend.com/can-employer...file-1084.html
    Last edited by funklab; 06-22-2019 at 10:49 AM.

  9. #9

    Close social media accounts.

    If an employer asked an illegal question and answering them, "That an illegal question to ask me." The employers today should know not to ask about a person's disability. I am not going a have a war of words about this. So, let's move on.

    I wouldn't bother to apply with regular businesses and industries and apply straight for a federal position. Today the US government is hiring. During the Clinton administration there was a hiring and pay freeze within the federal government to pay off the federal deficit. Government agencies had to reduced their work force by early buy-outs if not a reduction in force, RIF, would take place. All agencies were able to reduce their work force and no RIF was implemented.

    This is the first time in three decades the US federal government is hiring. So, apply for position where you are not totally qualified. Many people just don't want to apply because they are intimidated by the name of the agencies, e.g. NASA, FBI, ATF, ICE, Department of Homeland Security.

    Yesterday I added the paragraph about social media. Just two days ago June 20th, 2019, Philadelphia fired 72 police officers for posting on social media. See article:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.f391a1910e9d

    If you are looking for employment close all of your social media accounts. I am on Facebook and I keep it at a professional edge. I promote the employment of people with disabilities and some of the missions we are doing. We received an email several months ago that we are not allowed to post Trump threads on social media that they maybe in violating of the Hatch Act.

    At my last performance review my branch chief asked if I am planning on retiring? I answered her, "Noooooo." I was in a dazed and puzzled why she asked me that question? Several months later she stopped by my office. I asked her why did you ask me if I was retiring? She replied, "We were future planning." I am going to retire when we plants boot on Mars! I witnessed with my dad Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon. I want to witness the first steps on Mars. I'll be part the of Armstrong generation and the Artimis generation.

    At NASA, We Are Going!

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

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    That's pretty amazing that a government agency is allowed to fire people for the content of their feee expression. Seems entirely Unconstitutional for the govt to sanction those people's legal free expression. Outrage culture undermining the Constitution is horrible. It's one thing for a private business to do it, but another entirely for the govt to do it.

    edit: racist cops suck, to be sure, but there's a difference between racist speech and directly harmful racist actions. Hopefully the investigation will separate out the wheat from the chaff within reason and the boundaries placed on govt infringement of speech.
    Last edited by Oddity; 06-22-2019 at 02:28 PM.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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