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Old 01-18-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
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Rhonni HB User
Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hi gang...need your input on this one.

I have lost my job, due to being off since June. (Worked there 6 years). I'm still interviewing with my old company to try to go back, but now I have an interview outside of the company. It's with an agency.

They have asked why I want to leave my company. I told them (over the phone) that the company is laying off (true) and that my position now has a lot of things in it of which I have no experience (also true).

Do I mention to the agency (or other potential prospects) that I have been off on disability and my company released my job? Can my company tell them that information if they call to check references?

I'm a forward/honest type and don't want to lie, but I don't want to screw myself out of a job either.

Any advice?
Thanks
Hunni

 
Old 01-18-2005, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Tx Hunni-
Speaking as an Human Resources person here (at least I was-we'll see if I go back)...

Most companies will just comfirm your dates of work and what you did and rather or not you are eligible for rehire, anything else can open them up for a lawsuit. If you have a "friendly" supervisor who will speak best about you (not that they ALL wouldn't , give THAT person as your reference, or have that person write a letter of reference for you to take to your interview, saying in glowing terms how sad they were to let you go, NOT mentioning your disability).

Additionally, questions about disability are limited to rather or not you are physically and mentally capable of doing the job... that is ALL, anything else gets into the realm of the disability act, a BIG

You do not need to lie, but do NOT offer anything not asked, and anyone interviewing should know not to ask...

"My last company went through a round of layoffs and unfortunately I was one of the ones let go" is fine if they ask...

You do not need to state a disability. EVEN if you roll up in a wheel chair, they cannot ask about disability exept VERY specific ?? as relate to the position - depending on what type of work, EXAMPLE: they CAN ask if you (if it is part of the job you are interviewing for only) how much you can lift, how long you can stand, etc...

Hope that helps!! Good Luck!!
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Last edited by StMishl; 01-18-2005 at 09:44 AM.

 
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hey Hunni,

I know most employers are VERY careful about what they say about past employees, due to lawsuits !! So I doubt your past employer will say much.
I don't remember if yours is W/C or not, sorry.
Me personnaly, I would tend not to mention it unless asked. I am like you and I'm pretty straight forward, so I don't think I would lie. I just wouldn't offer the information. Then if asked directly, I think I would be honest and maybe even say "I hope this doesn't hurt my chances, but I want to be honest".
You can just hope the honesty will be the best policy. Though you might find out its not

That probably wasn't the answer you were looking for, sorry. I have been called for reference before and I know my company has trained me to be as unspecific as possible. One wrong word and you are in court.

~Jim

 
Old 01-18-2005, 09:46 AM   #4
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hey Hunni,
That's a tough one. I think I would have to be honest. You don't want to end up getting stuck with your foot in your mouth. Well, may just kinda play it out. See if something comes up when you would have to tell them that you've been on disability, that's when I wouldn't lie. But when it comes to you just bringing it up without being asked, well let's just say it slipped your mind! Take care anf good luck with your interview, let me know as soon as you get home from it. Kristy.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 10:10 AM   #5
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injured betty HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

It is against the law for them to even ask about a disability but like it was stated earlier, they can ask about weight limitations and such if the job entails that as part of the duties of the job. Once they have made a job offer, and it is nice to have that in writing, they can ask whatever they like but can't not hire you after they find out about your disability. In some jobs, disability is a plus. There is an unspoken quota to fill.

As for medical records and how private they are, granted, they can't ask any medical questions that would determine whether or not they will hire you unless, say, the job entails lifting 100 pounds, repetively and you can only lift five, but your insurance bills are a matter of public record. I found this out when the insurance company released some of my bills. They are not under the same HIPPA laws that the medical profession are.

I would go in with confidence and wow them. Show them that you are the best person for the job.


 
Old 01-18-2005, 11:16 AM   #6
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TexasWildRose04 HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

From What I have been told by the Texas Workforce Commission.... by law when anyone calls for a reference they can only ask.... The date of hire... rate of pay.... title held.... and date of release....

So if I were you, I would not give them any information about being out on disability...

Hope this helps...

Take Care.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 03:17 PM   #7
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Rhonni HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Thanks gang.

Well I had the interview. It went well. However, through the course of conversation she did question why I wasn't at work, even though I said I was still employed with my company. Because I'm so honest and couldn't lie if my life depended on it, I fessed up and told her that I was out on disability. She then made a comment about "Yes, I noticed the limp" which I thought was kinda odd, but whatever.

Turns out that this place was an agency and all the jobs they advertise didn't really exist anyway.

I hate this process.

Thanks for your help.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 04:51 PM   #8
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hey Hunni,
Glad to hear you got through it okay, it's good practise I suppose. How are you feeling these days? Talk to you later. Kristy.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hunni, I am facing a similar situation. My company eliminated my territory and I am out looking for a job. I have wondered how to approach the whole disability thing. I really appreciate all the great input from everyone. I have only been asked if I can handle the physical demands of the job and I can honestly answer yes.

In an interview I was asked about my best decisions and I mentioned my back surgery. He did not have a problem with it and one of his other employees had similar back surgery to mine. I flew to Denver for a final interview today and got a job offer. I think you need to be careful but I don't think it is a deal breaker for a good reputable company. Good luck with the job search, I will be thinking of you.

Alan

 
Old 01-18-2005, 06:23 PM   #10
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Feeling great (other than the limp... and the zingers hit today pretty bad, but I think it's because I was uptight and running all day)

Al, CONGRATS!!!! Are you going to take the job? I hope my offers aren't far behind.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 06:38 PM   #11
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Hunni, I think I am going to take the job. The district manager I would be working for seems like a great guy, I like the territory and the people I would work with. It is a little less money than I was making before but it is close and I feel fortunate to have an opportunity. I may interview with at least one more company just to keep my options open because I would not even start until February 7th. Glad to see you are doing well.

Alan

 
Old 01-19-2005, 10:17 AM   #12
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Congrats on the job offer!
And Hunni, congrats on the interview... It took alot of guts to go out there! Way to Go! Sounds lik your Interviewer needs to brush up on her skills ("I noticed your limp???" - helloo!!!)

I think ALOT is how you word things, if you are upbeat and make your back sound like a good thing (OKAY- stick with me here--I know that sounds weird) - like the "best decison ever was the surgery" or knowing you are a strong person because of overcoming your back issues or whatever -- in a POSITIVE SPIN, would be a GREAT way to address your "disability" (I hate that word) without looking like a liability to the new company.... Because unfortunately most companies are simply looking for the person who can do the job advertised the best without any issues - you have to prove that person is you. Don't let them prejudge you as someone who will take alot of time off for dr appts, med. leave etc... (Sorry folks, speaking honestly as an HR person here who has done HUNDREDS of interviews for BIG companies-- this is what we all have to overcome when we walk into an interview with a noticeable limp, a walker -me now! - or whatever!!) We will have to OVERCOME that unspoken prejudice that is there.... YES it is illegal (to voice it), But know it is there and OVERCOME it by showing them you are the IDEAL candidate and that your back issue is only a TINY part of who you are. Don't make it bigger than it is (although speaking for myself it seems huge right now!!), and don't let IT dominate the interview!! { Stepping off my soap box now} Sorry... please don't shoot the messenger....

However I still stand my 1st post and say I wouldn't mention it until they bring it up, or unless you have the opprotunity to make it a strength.

Good luck to all of you interviewing, I'm off to "visit" my job, and to see if I too am job hunting as my boss has been very cryptic lately when we talk, they've let go about 1/2 the people in my division, so if I am let go, it would not be a huge surprise, nor would it be horrid, as I don't LOVE my job.... but I do love having a job. And since I don't have any disability and was planning on going back next week, I may be joining the interview process soon...

Hope I didn't offend anyone.

Good Luck, and Save a place for me in the Job Hunting Line.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:31 AM   #13
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injured betty HB User
Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

Stmishi:

That was great advice. I had disability issues when applying for a job. I tried to go back to my old job, the one where I was injured, and although it is illegal to ask, they said, in a round about way, "how is your back doing"? I could honestly say that I had no back issues because it is my SI joint, not my back. But, I do know that if I had said that it was not better, they would not have hired me back. I ended up having to turn the job down anyway, due to the SI issue, but I know for a fact, that they won't hire anyone with back issues at that place of employment.

But, if you are a disabled vet, they give you points, and you are put ahead of everyone on the hiring list. Then they spend years trying to clear you through the medical unit at that place. So, sometimes, it works to your advantage.

As a teacher, I found out that they also hold back on hiring anyone with back problems. I can sub all that I want, but no permanant job if I mention the back or any other health condition because of what was stated earlier, missing work due to doc visits, etc.

If this were a perfect world, everyone would abide by the laws and it would be against the law to discriminate but it is not a perfect world and there is rampant discrimination.

Employers are looking for, and who can blame them, the best person for the job. They don't want anyone with excess baggage, be it health, marriage problems, child care problems, ect. Some employers even go so far as to check out a person's credit history these days. That is why you see so many fresh, young, people getting the jobs. They are too young to have the same problems that an older person has.

I am lucky in that I am self employed. I work at the school on the side. My doctor seems to think that there are no jobs out there right now that I can do but I have not gone so far as to apply for SS yet. We don't qualify for SSI. Six years of college and can't work. Over qualified, over educated, and can't do physical labor at the moment. It is a hard place to be in.

Unless directly asked, and it is illegal to ask, never offer information in regards to a disability unless it is a governent job and it will advance your chances of getting a job. It is no one business but your own.

just my two cents,

 
Old 01-19-2005, 09:31 PM   #14
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Re: Quick Quick Quick.... need advice

I have thought about this same thing so many times in my past. Not now though, luckily. I think if you think you can do the job then you like said above do not need to disclose anything, unless you need to varify something. Sounds like you wouldn't. ME however, I have to disclose it b/c I don't want to set myself up for new injury: If I applied for a vet, I would tell them I cannot LIFT over a certain weight. I will tell them honestly upfront that if the job requires me to lift, I cannot in good faith to me or them take the job. That is how I would be as a nurse too: I would tell them the same thing. It may limit me, but it will help me not end up having a third surgery out of turn (say years earlier on disc L3-4 than if I hadn't taken the job, assuming the disc were to some day go bad...) Does this make sense at all????
Well, I am sorry that happened by the way, and I wish you the best in the world finding a new job.

 
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