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When to Tell a Prospective Employer about your Hearing Loss

I would like to share some information posted by Michael Kaplan from the Hearing Loss Association of Los Angeles  on their Facebook page.  I’ve always wondered about this (even though I’m not looking for a job) and think this is very important information to know.

From Michael:  I just spent the morning taking a Disabilities training course with the HR team at my job ………… Towards the end of the training, the discussion moved to job interviews, and what questions you can and can’t ask employees. Here’s the definitive answer:

You CAN NOT ask a potential employee about any possible disability, or ANYTHING involving their personal medical condition. You may only ask employees the following question:

“Is there any reason you could NOT perform the job as outlined in the job description, with or without accommodations?”

The correct answer, of course, is: “NO.”

Once you are on the payroll, and ONLY then, you are free to request the specific accommodations your disability requires to perform the duties in the job description. For those with moderate hearing loss, that usually involves special phone equipment (amplified handsets or a CapTel equivalent).

Bottom line for anyone seeking work these days: You are under NO OBLIGATION to reveal a disability or anything about your current medical condition; in turn, an employer can NOT ask about you anything about your medical status. This isn’t a question of University policy. This is the law, both on the state and federal level.


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