I wanted to share an experience I had earlier at the hospital today (I went there for pre-employment drug testing to work at said hospital).
If you’ve been applying for work in the past year or so, you’ve probably have noticed a piece of paper or online form which says “please check and sign” regarding disabilities. They define disability for both physical and mental disorders (it list bipolar and depression as a disability along with a myriad of other illnesses). Whether you want to disclose or not, you have to sign it (there’s also a “I do not wish to say”option; however, I’m sure even THAT can be a disadvantage).
I studied human resources in college. It makes me sick to think some people aren’t going to find employment when they fill that paper out.
“But Allie, they can’t discriminate; it’s on the form!”
Well, good luck trying to prove it. Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but you’d be surprised what goes on at some companies. Even if you’re 100% in the right, it will take years in litigation to prove a massive company did something illegal…or, well, any company with more than 50 people.
There ARE good companies that wouldn’t, however; it’s a gamble whether you want to take that chance or not.
Well, I did read it and check “no”. Many lawyers and websites will tell you you’re in your legal right not to disclose AS LONG as these disabilities do not require reasonable accommodation/hinder you from performing work. Again, as I was saying before:
I remember when the form said “can you perform the position in which you are applying for with or without reason accommodation?” and that was that.
It really has me thinking….
You know, it’s not really about what bipolar actually is or isn’t (AKA “facts”), but what they employers believe it is. You can’t force someone to educate themselves…not in that position of power,anyway.
It’s thanks to the media. You only see bipolar women on TV when they kill their children or a bipolar man when he shoots someone. It’s really ridiculous.
I had a psychiatrist who gave me an old-fashioned IQ test. I tested just below the threshold of mental retardation, he told me. He even suggested I use that to my advantage when I went to college, saying “you can take different kinds of tests and get easier grades!”
So, upon graduating college Cum Laude and the president/vice president of two honor societies, I really wanted to shit in a box and send it to him.
Or, you know, something a bit more classy and put a graduation cape on it.