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When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

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  • When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

    Maybe this is a weird question but ... I'm quirky - HA!

    I am in the process of looking for a job (we just moved to a new city). My husband and I were talking about when/if I should tell prospective employers about my heart disease. He says not until they hire you and you know them better. I say I should tell them in the later stages of the interview process. I don't want them to be upset that they didn't know (it doesn't affect my ability to work) but DH thinks they may not hire me since this is new to me and I had open heart surgery less than 6 months ago.

    Advice anyone? I NEED it! Thanks!

    Amy
    Amy
    Happy wife and mother of four
    Diagnosed wit HOCM in September 2005
    Myectomy at Mayo Clinic November 7, 2005
    Pacemaker August 24, 2011

  • #2
    Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

    I don't really have an answer for you, but I do know you should be honest with them. You don't need to offer more information than they ask for, but when they ask if you have any limitations that would make it difficult for you to do the job, you'll have to think about the job description and answer as honestly as you can. I'm sure Lisa can help with this question better than I, she was an HR director for 15 years. She'll pipe up soon.

    Reenie
    Reenie

    ****************
    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

      Thanks Reenie. I don't want to be dishonest at all. I doubt the position would have limitations for me ... I would be the assistant to the Personnel Director for a large corporation.

      Lisa, I will check back to see if you have some advice! Thanks in advance
      Amy
      Happy wife and mother of four
      Diagnosed wit HOCM in September 2005
      Myectomy at Mayo Clinic November 7, 2005
      Pacemaker August 24, 2011

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

        If your HCM is not going to affect your ability to do your job or require special accomdations, then do NOT say anything during the interview process. Just so you know, it is ILLEGAL for them to ask you about your health and you are certainly setting yourself up for not being hired if you say "oh I had open heart surgery but I'm fine" because companies don't want to hear it, nor will they believe you will be fine.

        You should continue to not say anything since it is none of their business. You should wear a medic alert bracelet if you need one, and when people ask about it (as they do mine --they will say, "oh are you diabetic"? i just say "no" and leave it at that or I say "oh, well the bracelet just makes sense to paramedics")

        Lisa worked in HR for twenty years and can tell you more specifics on what they should or should not know and when.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

          I was curious about this question too? My last employer made me tell them about every incident I have ever had! I forgot about an incident that occured six years ago (bruised hip) when I was given ten minutes to fill out my entire medical history and the job offer was rescinded even though I had only been away from the coorporation for 3 weeks (the hospital I worked at was sold and they got rid of me by saying my position had been eliminated. But, it appeared in the jobs list two weeks later). Even better my boss told me about it while I was in the hospital.

          So, I believe we are in a catch 22.

          Mary S.

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          • #6
            Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

            Mary, can they legally make you detail your medical history in order to apply and interview for a job? I think you would have some recourse here.

            Reenie
            Reenie

            ****************
            Husband has HCM.
            3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

              Greetings - This question comes down to the position description for the job. Is it a job for UPS where you need to be able to lift a minimum of 100 pounds? Every job has its own set of required capabilities - if you can complete the tasks required of the job, there is nothing to tell. If you can't complete the tasks, don't bother applying.

              Some employers may fish for info by saying "how's your health" or what "activities do you enjoy?" without asking specifics about your health. If you tell them you enjoy long walks, running, moutain climbing you are telling them about your health. Some may be thinking about how you may impact their medical insurance premiums if you aren't healthy. Others may just be interested in your outside life to gauge if you might fit in with the other employees.

              But, asking about your medical history is not appropriate and not legal. You are under NO obligation to inform them of your health status - and, I wouldn't.

              Andy P

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              • #8
                Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

                Mary,

                Lisa is the HR expert, so I would ask her, but here's my two cents!

                I'm really surprised that your prospective employer could even ask those questions. I did the hiring for my dept. for 17 years for a comprehensive care facility. Our corporate office did a good job at training us on what we were legally able to ask and not ask. The fear of a law suit was a great motivator! On the initial application (everyone had to fill one out even if they sent in a resume-that's where permission was given to do a background check, be fingerprinted, credit and reference check, etc.) one of the questions asked is if they ever had any workmans compensation claims. Even though you omitted it accidentally, I believe they still have the right to not hire you, probably using falsification as the reason.

                During the interview process, after explaining the job and requirements - I could ask "is there anything that would prevent you from doing this job?"
                They could interpret that a hundred different ways and answer accordingly...do I have reliable transportation?...do I have a health condition that would prevent me from doing the job? do I have a bad back? does my child have bad allergies and am I going to need to call off once a week? I have 3 kids and if one of them is sick I can't take them to daycare and I don't have alternate arrangements so I may be calling off alot, I am not very good on a computer etc., etc. But, definately not "how's your health?" If you ARE capable of doing the job, personally I don't believe it is an employers business how your health is. If one honesty doesn't believe they could perform the requirements of the job, at that point I think honesty is best.

                Some people offer ALOT of information which is isn't necessary and possibly prevents them from being hired, if there is an equally qualified candidate.

                Uh oh...I definately got rambling! Sorry! Back to Mary- Is there any possibility that you could speak with the lady you interviewed with and possibly explain the situation and plead your case again? Or, would you be better off just cutting your losses there and try to find something elsewhere? I'm sure you'll find something soon and things will turn around for you. Keep your chin up!

                Rene'

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

                  See, that's the thing. This incident was NOT a workman's comp incident. I even have proof from Disney stating that. The problem is no one at HR will even discuss it with me. Every time I go there to speak with the manager she's not there. I've called in the double digits and my calls are not returned.

                  The position is unit secretary "Performs routine clerical/secretarial tasks for one or more persons in a nursing unit. Transcribes physician orders. Assembles and compiles medical records. Answers phone calls, routes callers, takes messages and provides routing information to callers. Performs data entry, typing and filing. Operates copy machine and fax machine. Opens and routes incoming mail; distributes correspondence and other material to department staff. Performs routine problem solving. Maintains pre-established par levels of all unit supplies, puts away supplies, transports equipment and other items throughout the facility. Uses limited discretion; works under close supervision."

                  So, why would I have to fill out a questionaire about my ENTIRE medical history. If I've ever been hospitalized, If I've ever been seen by a doctor, I mean they asked everything!

                  On a good note I had an interview on Friday, another one tomorrow, and a call to set up another one. Even though I will probably have a better job ( the person I have the interview with on Monday said they would at least match my last pay and benefits) I think I might still pursue these guys because they should not be allowed to get away with it. They do it once and they will keep doing it.

                  Mary S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: When to tell prospective employer about HOCM?

                    Mary,

                    I am sooo happy to hear that you have such good prospects. Please know that I and many others will be praying that you get a good position out of one of these interviews.

                    As far as whether to pursue the other position, I agree that they have no right to do what they did. But my husband taught me a lesson several years ago. We were having a fight with his insurance over a bill for a test my daughter had had. They said it was a surgical procedure and needed prior approval, but they had paid for the same test many times before with no problem. The doctor, the hospital, everyone we discussed this with said that it was not surgical and did not need prior approval. We got letters from the doctors, we got statements from the hospital, we got everything but a lawyer, but got nowhere. One day I walked into the house and Ed said, "I paid that bill today." I said, "You did WHAT?!?" (I was not happy with him at that moment!) He said, "Yes, I realized that it was making me so angry that it was making me sin, so I decided that it was better to pay the bill and not sin than to keep fighting and sin, so I paid the bill." Talk about shutting me up! Ever since then I have been better able to weigh whether I should fight an injustice or not. If I can fight it without anger coming to rule my life, then I firmly believe that injustice should be fought. But if the anger begins to rule, it is time to give it up. I hope this helps you in trying to figure out whether to keep fighting.

                    Rhoda

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