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Deciding Whether to Disclose a Disability

Persons with disabilities are not required to disclose their disability to a prospective employer, and the employer is prohibited from asking about a disability. The decision belongs to the individual and not anyone assisting him or her.

Usually it is not a good idea to disclose, unless:

  • an accommodation is needed doing the hiring process, or
  • there is a hiring preference for persons with disabilities.

Beware of Unintentional Disclosures

Persons assisting the individual with a job search may inadvertently disclose the disability simply because they are known to work with persons with disabilities. If they make a contact or are mentioned by the applicant, the employer may be aware of the disability even if it is not mentioned.

Mentioning the name of an agency known to work primarily with persons with disabilities when contacting a provider may also disclose the disability.

Recovery-Oriented Employment Services Must Respect the Individual’s Preferences

State law and DMHAS policies mandate that the person in recovery has the right to individualized services, and the right have the information needed to make independent and informed decisions. The individual has the right to be advised about job opportunities and determine the positions to be pursued, even if those choices differ from those of the persons providing assistance with the job search.

Make Sure There Is an Understanding at The Beginning of the Job Search Process

At the beginning of the job search process, individuals with disabilities should talk with anyone assisting with the process about their options and their rights in terms of employment options and disclosure, including unintentional disclosure. If there are any questions about those rights, people should contact CLRP.

Understand the Scope of Accommodations that May Be Available from the Employer If A Disability Is Disclosed.

Employers have a legal obligation to reasonably accommodate workers with disabilities. 

Prepare for the Interview, Including Topics That Could Raise the Disability, Such as Employment Gaps.

You may have gaps in your employment due to your mental health condition.

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