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Health Questions in an Interview and After...

Veteran

Spencer Moseley Virginia Beach, VA

I have a heart arrhythmia, and this condition has over the past four months resulted in 4 surgeries, 40 days of convalescent leave and about 18 days on top of that in the ICU. And the next operation is next week (yeah for me). I am retiring with 27 years in this fall and looking to work in consulting or logistics. So my questions are:
1. Can they ask about my health in the job interview process?
2. Do I have a duty to inform them? My health will hopefully improve, but there will be times that I will need to be off.
3. One job offer that I am looking at has me working overseas for a foreign government... do I have a duty to tell that company about the exact level of my health?

Thanks

Spencer.

28 March 2018 11 replies Interviews

Answers

Advisor

Thomas Pear Cape Coral, FL

Spencer,

I was just thinking about your situation. If you are job interviewing watch what you post on social media.

I am not referring to obvious disqualifying posting such as partying too much etc.

I am referring to any pictures of you in the hospital greeting friends the night before a procedure or a few days after surgery. That can be a red flag.

4 April 2018 Helpful answer

Advisor

Steven Sablan Monterey, CA

Spencer - recently retired Marine here who went through transition last year. Shay’s answer was spot on, but I wanted to comment on your prospect of working for a foreign government. I don’t know if they covered it in your transition seminar, but if you take a job working for a foreign government, you risk forfeiting your retirement pay. If you’re aware of that and accept the risk, so be it. I just wanted to make sure you were aware

31 March 2018 Helpful answer

Advisor

Shay Islam New York, NY

Hi Spencer,

Thank you for your service! After receiving your question, I reached out to a Human Resources manager to get some insight. Below please find some information on protocol that is generally administered.

1. Prospective employer should not ask medical questions prior to offering the job and the job being accepted.

2. You have no obligation to inform them of your condition before the offer is accepted. Once offer is accepted, it maybe a good idea to inform, but again, not required. Once the offer is accepted, employer has a right to ask for the information because they will need to decide whether the employee is physically capable of doing the job. If not, the offer could be rescinded.

3. The answer to your 3rd question will vary as now we're dealing with a foreign government and we don't know what their laws allow and not allow in this space. In my opinion, I would inform the company after accepting the job (even if they don't ask, which I believe they would) to save time and hardship down the road in case the foreign government does have some laws concerning this.

I hope you will find this information helpful!

Good Luck!

Best,
Shay - ACP Staff

29 March 2018 Helpful answer

Advisor

Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

It's illegal to ask about your health in a job interview. However, after you've been hired, you need to demonstrate your physical ability to do the job you've been hired for. If you can't then your health may be questioned.
After you are hired and you are asked to work overseas, it would be a good idea to let them know about your health as you would need access to correct facilities and your employer may have preferred providers or may have to offer you separate insurance for the situation.
I hope this helps.
Jerry

Advisor

Jeff Shoemaker Lake In The Hills, IL

Spencer,
Unless physical health is part of the job requirements due to the position's duties this is not a question that should be asked. Check the job posting, if there is one, to determine if it is a requirement. For example, able to lift 50 lbs. If your condition would hinder you performing this task it would be a relevant question. Second do not volunteer any information related to your health status. Why create an issue that may never become part of the hiring process.
Jeff

Advisor

Thomas Pear Cape Coral, FL

You are welcome Spencer!

Veteran

Spencer Moseley Virginia Beach, VA

Thomas - Thank you for the info. I scrubbed my FB of anything having to do with my health. Only kittens and birthdays are there now. You are right about an employer using FB to "stalk" me.

Spencer.

Advisor

Thomas Pear Cape Coral, FL

I have taught job interviewing classes to students who are starting their job searches. One thing I tell my students is that a job interview is not a confession. You do not have an obligation to offer the interviewer disqualifying information about yourself.

Save the confessions for your priest, Rabi, minister, etc, is what I tell my students.

If an interviewer asks whether you have a health condition that would disqualify you from doing your job (which is typically what they are allowed to ask, depending on the state), and your research about the job indicates you would perform well, then you could candidly say "no."

Sometimes an interviewer unintentionally asks an illegal or unethical question as to whether you have had any health problems in the past few years. You can finesse this type of question with an answer such as: "I believe you are trying to determine whether I am physically capable of doing this job, and the answer is 'yes.'"

I hope this was helpful, and thank you for your service.

Veteran

Spencer Moseley Virginia Beach, VA

Everyone, thank you for the replies and the info. I will keep the medical jacket closed till I sign for the offer. And I would be working for a US Company, but the contract is for a foreign country. So I would be paid in the US but would live abroad. If I stay outside of any US soil, I can claim the first $102K as federal tax-free.

Veteran

Spencer Moseley Virginia Beach, VA

Erik - That is sort of how I thought it worked. But I think I need to scrub my Facebook of any mention or pictures of my condition. That is publically available info that they employer could use. I have the privacy settings set to the max, but it would still be publically available. I have also been featured twice by the American Heart Association due to my somewhat intense and short journey with this disease.

Advisor

Erik Schlacter New York, NY

Mr. Moseley,

Thank you for your service and thank you for your question.

While I am no expert on Human Resources and what can/can't be asked by an employer, I did a little research and stumbled upon this link that might help:

https://www.washington.edu/doit/can-employer-legally-ask-applicant-about-current-illnesses

Best of luck to you sir!

Sincerely,
Erik - ACP Staff

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