Teens and Jobs: Reasons For Disclosing Or Not Disclosing A Disability To Your Employer
Ready, Willing, and Able
For a person with a disability, answering that "scary" question on the application can seem like doomsday. By checking, "Yes, I have a disability," the odds are one would not get the job at all. Illegal? Of course, but no way to prove it. Checking "no" means that employment may be secured, but also means there are no accommodations. The employers, employees and, most certainly, customers will expect top-notch service.
Disclose or Not Disclose
Decisions, decisions. There is no right answer; no passing go to collect $200. Unfortunately, unless a disability is disclosed to the employer that person will not have any rights under the American Disabilities Act. Employers cannot "reasonably accommodate" an employee if they are not aware of the disability in the first place. While laws vary depending on which state you live in, there is one fact that remains the same. A person is not required by law to disclose a disability to an employer.
On one hand, if a disability is disclosed, one may be subjected to ridicule and harassment by other employees. On the flip side, not mentioning a disability runs the risk of being written up or fired for unsuccessful completion of a task. And of course, the possibility of not being hired at all. There are laws that protect against workplace harassment, but the reality is, reporting any type of harassment opens an employee up to more harassment.
To have the opportunity, these young adults sometimes end up doing all the grunt work. But they love to earn money and want to feel needed. It provides the encouragement and builds life skills. This motivation is all they need to become one of the best employees hired.
C.C. Malloy lives in Greensboro and works as a freelance writer and advocate for special needs children and teenagers. Comment below if you have questions about this article or would like to learn more about how to support your teenager's transition to college. Visit her blog at http://specialedteens.wordpress.com