Does a candidate for a job have to tell a potential employer about a disability before being hired?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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A job candidate is not required to tell an employer about medical information such as a disability during the interview or hiring process. Also, employers cannot usually inquire into medical conditions at the interview stage. They may ask if the job candidate has any particular limitations that would keep them from performing the essential requirements of the job, but they may not ask any of the following questions:

  • Do you have a disability that would keep you from performing any essential duties?
  • How many times did you seek hospital attention last year?
  • Do you take any prescription medications?

As a practical matter, if there is a job offer, you might want to consider telling your employer if you think it’s likely that at some point you might experience some type of medical emergency while at work. Also, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) your employer is required to make reasonable accomodations for your disability if it is covered under the ADA. If you aren’t sure whether your condition qualifies as a disability you might want to call an employment attorney for help. If you have a disability, you may be able to work with your employer and co-workers to help prevent any unnecessary worries or actual job impairment. In addition, you are protected should your employer take an adverse employment action against you based on your disability. If you feel you have been discriminated against based on a disability, contact an employment lawyer for help as soon as possible.

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