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New job and RA

I have a job interview scheduled for next week and I don't know what to say, if anything, about my RA. Do I tell the interviewwer up front about it or not? I need a job with benefits and steady salary so I need to do this but I am worried about the days when walking becomes agony. I have no problem being at my desk but I can't use stairs very easily and bending or kneeling is out of the question of course. I want to be fiair to an employer and I know some mornings are going to be very difficult for me. Any one have any suggestions on how to handle this? Thank you.

  1. Hi

    I'd have to assume you are in the USA by "I need a job with benefits ......", by which I am again assuming you mean health insurance.

    Surely at some point you have to fill out a form about your health for the insurance or is it unquestioning 'blanket cover'?

    If you have to fill out a form it is soon going to be apparent, so you need to be upfront.... and depending on how bad your RA is you also need to be up front if you take a lot of time off.

    Myself I can tell you that the best lies are based on 80% truth, if that helps. That's a life tip.

    1. What kind of job is this? How is,RA going to impact it?

      After they hire you in my state, they can fire you the first 90 days for any reason.... they don't like your hair color. It doesn't matter. It can't be for one of the protected reasons like race, sex, religion, etc, but they aren't dumb enough to do something like that. There is always a 'valid' reason.

      If you have a job that involves something RA will impact frequently, you will probably have to disclose. If it is a cubicle job, you can probably get away without disclosing. Just keep in mind that I don't think Family Medical Leave Act applies until you work somewhere for a year unless that has changed. There may also be limits regarding company size and job protection.

      That is a tough decision. You want to be upfront, but you are reasonably concerned that it will cause you not to get the job. Just remember lying is grounds for immediate termination. Not discussing it is ok. Interviewers aren't allowed to ask, but sometimes they do anyway.

      Good luck.
      KT

      1. Hi . I just wanted to follow up on some of the excellent information from . Disability is now covered as a protected class under Title 7 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That said, it is not that cut and dried. As ktinflorida pointed out, most states have some form of At-Will employment law (one source I saw said 49 states, another said all 50 - it depends on definitions being used). For protection against at-will termination due to discrimination an individual must meet criteria for being considered part of the protected class, in this case recognized as having a disability. In addition there are carve outs for business necessity and, as also pointed out, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement of the ADA only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. These sites explain further: https://www.usa.gov/disability-rights and https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/small-business/3-who-protected-employment-discrimination. As a practical matter, I think the decision on what to say during the interview process depends largely on the job, the nature of the disability, how the two might intertwine, and frankly the individual. My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), has used a wheelchair since her teens. Obviously, when she would show up for an interview her disability is visible. That said, determining what to say before hand still depended on the situation. You mentioned issues with stairs. Can you make sure the job location will work for you? Will you need workplace accommodations? Kelly works in communications and has been fortunate to be able to get positions where her disability has actually been an asset at times (fully recognize that this is rare, but is it possible to use your experience and different viewpoint as a selling point for yourself?). Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question, but that can also be the good news. Do you - sell yourself the best way you can for the job you are applying for - it is the one thing within your control. Wishing you the best and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    2. That's a great question, Sanderson. I don't have a job interview just yet, but I am sure that is on the horizon. I wonder what you would say to an interviewer when they ask, "Why did you leave your last job?" When the reason is RA related I think it would be a bit tricky to answer. Surely a company would rather hire a healthy person over someone who has a chronic illness.

      I hope your interview goes well.

      All the best.

      1. I've never told an employer unless it was really effecting my work, and that was after I was hired.

        According to the Americans with Disability Act, they cannot ask you what you're sick with and you are not obligated to tell them.

        When I started noticing it effecting my promptness to work or when I'd go through a flare up, I found it important to make them aware of what I was going through. Hopefully they will be as understanding as my company. Some days I just have to work from home but as long as it gets done they don't mind.

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