• Job Application Question Regarding Disability/Past or Present, Including Cancer

    Asked by IKickedIt on Monday, August 6, 2018

    Job Application Question Regarding Disability/Past or Present, Including Cancer

    Very interesting question on job application regarding disability, current or in the past. Would you choose to answer this honestly or tell a little white lie? Cancer is included in the list of conditions that qualify as a disability. And it questions whether it's a current condition/disability or one in the past. There is the option to decline to answer.

    I'm torn. I'm normally a very honest person, but I have been cancer-free for 6+ years and the problems that I have will in no way affect my job performance. So, do I answer 'yes', 'no', or decline to answer? I have researched and understand the basis for this question, but I am still not certain I want to answer either 'Yes' or even decline to answer.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      What is the basis for the question? Is it legal?

      I would be in the same quandary as you are in. I would probably "decline to answer" but that is as much as admitting that you have or have had cancer. That's really a hard one. The thing is, if they ever found out that you are a cancer survivor and you said you weren't ... that might not be good...

      over 1 year ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      First, I do not believe that's a question that can legally be required/asked. But I'm not sure, we have some on the site that will know.

      As for a disability, unless you filed for disability due to cancer, and were approved, you have not been "disabled" due to it.

      Would your having cancer in the past have any effect on your job performance? I am inclined to decline to answer any health questions, but that's just me. Others will have some more help for you.

      over 1 year ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Decline to answer.

      I also decline to answer race, religion, and marital status. None of their business.

      No spouse will be doing the work required. The color of my skin isnt relevant to the work. Neither is my personal beliefs or lack thereof in an Almighty.

      over 1 year ago
    • myb's Avatar
      myb

      I am with others and don't think the question is legal either. I would not answer if you feel uncomfortable with a No answer. You do not have a disability.

      I googled "is it allowed to ask about cancer on application" and Americans With Disabilities Act: Information for People Facing Cancer clearly states not allowed as seen below:

      When you apply for a job, employers can't ask you if you are disabled. They also can't ask about the type or how severe a disability you have. Employers may not ask you if you have or have ever had cancer. ... But they can ask you about your ability to perform certain job tasks.

      https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/americans-with-disabilities-act.html

      over 1 year ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Here is a link to the ADA law. https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada18.html

      Exact quote: Can an Employer Require Medical Examinations or Ask Questions About a Disability?
      If you are applying for a job, an employer cannot ask you if you are disabled or ask about the nature or severity of your disability.

      Illegal to ask - if you options for another job, keep on looking. Doesn't sound like a company who wants to treat employees equally or fairly.

      over 1 year ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Thanks everyone for your input.

      over 1 year ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      Decline to answer. 23andme may already know. I attended a recent job advisory site and they said those questions may be going away. I do not know when or why but it may be fake news. I felt that the resources were reliable.

      over 1 year ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Thank you for your responses. I have already submitted the job application and chose to not answer the question. However, I continued to do more research regarding this and found that companies that do business with the government need to reach out to hire and provide equal opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities and must be able to report on their hiring practices. It is completely voluntary for an applicant to answer these questions, but they hope you will for their reporting purposes. It is designed to help government agencies reach the 7% target of hiring people with disabilities.

      Some of the medical conditions that are considered disabilities include cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, OCD, PTSD, autism, multiple sclerosis and ones that are more easily identifiable, i.e. deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, missing or partially missing limbs, etc.

      over 1 year ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      A good answer legally, but as someone who had to file an EEOC case because her boss was saying he was going to force her to retire from her government job due to being disabled, I can tell you that even though it's illegal, and some agencies are legitimately trying to show they hire enough disabled people, there are others who do use it to cull disabled people from the hiring process.

      I think this is especially true around the military which is sad since so many of us get injured in combat zones. If your job doesn't require you to run you shouldn't be singled out and forced out if you can't run, which is sort of what happened to me. Then we found out later that cancer was part of the problem.

      So anyway, it will just really depend on the sort of individuals you are dealing with unfortunately.

      over 1 year ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      I have seen job requirements that indicate sharp eyesight, an ability to reach a certain distance, an ability to lift a certain weight, an ability to climb stairs and an ability to sit for long hours. That last one is relatively new because sitting is the new disease. Near me, they started installing low curbs for meeting ADA requirements. Bus service is inconsistent. Self employment is a serious thought. Working from home is a serious thought.

      over 1 year ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      If you haven't filled out the application get in touch with the disability rights avocates in your state https://www.drnj.org/ ask them how to protect yourself if you should be terminated or denied the job for cancer. My brother is a Disabiltiy Rights Administer. The rights of all people with disabilities are under attack.

      over 1 year ago

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