My family recently moved to a new state and now I’m job hunting with Type 1: Just like any other stressful event in life, having diabetes adds a whole layer of complexity that most people don’t have to worry about. Is my sugar going to go low during my phone interview? Will my CGM go off while I’m meeting with a potential new supervisor? If it does, I’ll have to either explain what it is or look incredibly rude for having electronic devices going off during an important meeting. Then there is the part of me that feels compelled to explain a little bit about the disease, so no negative assumptions are made about me, like “No, I didn’t get this because I’m lazy and eat unhealthy food all the time” and “No, it can’t be corrected with diet and exercise” and “Yes, I can complete the duties of the job just like everyone else (or better).”
Now, things are made more complicated by the new Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form CC-305. Apparently the US Labor department issued new regulations that went into effect this past spring, requiring companies with federal contracts (over 40,000 big names here) to meet an employment quota of at least 7% disabled workers. This is done in an effort to close the large employment gap between people with disabilities and those without. The form explicitly states that you are considered to have a disability if you have diabetes (among many other conditions). Employers will offer up the form during your initial online application to the job, i.e. pre-interview! They will also ask current employees to fill out the form every 5 years, as disability status can change. In my recent job hunt I’ve seen a lot of language on applications associated with form CC-305 like “The information you provide will be used for statistical purposes only and will not in any way affect you individually. While self-identification is voluntary, your cooperation in providing accurate information is critical” and “If you are applying for a job any information you give will be kept private and will not be used against you.” I really want to believe this and I really want to help a potential new employer meet their requirements, however, personally I am uncomfortable disclosing before I’ve even had in interview. I don’t want to be interviewed or get hired because I am considered to have a disability nor do I want to not be given the chance to interview because the hiring manager has a personal bias for some reason.
Personally, I’m not inclined to answer, “Yes, I have a disability” on a job application. However I don’t want to lie, as the form does explicitly state that I do, so I’m not inclined to answer “No, I don’t have a disability” either. This leaves me checking the “I don’t wish to answer” box. Hmm, If I were a hiring manager and saw someone check that box, I would assume the actual answer was “Yes, but I don’t want to disclose on your weird form.” Will this cause the hiring manager to spend valuable interview time wondering what my disability is or if it will affect my work?
There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer and I’m not sure how I feel about the new form. Thoughts?
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