Am I required to disclose my disability to my employer?

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

Whether or not an employee should report a disability that they have to their employer is entirely up to the individual. The law only requires an employer must provide reasonable accommodations to either employees or job applicants that suffer from a disability if they disclose their disability to the employer.

There is no requirement per se that an employee must disclose any disability from which they may be suffering. However, if the employee will require their employer to furnish them with reasonable accommodations in order for them to perform their job duties satisfactorily then they will have to inform their employer about their disabilities and how best to work around them.

While there is no right way for an employee to disclose a disability to their employer, they should select a secluded area where they can speak confidentially and endeavor to choose a setting that allows their employer enough time to ask questions should they feel the need to. In some cases, the disability may be obvious but in other cases it may not be.

In order to have a productive and effective disclosure, an employee must relay their needs clearly. Equally as important, they should also offer practical suggestions to their employer for reasonable accommodations if it’s possible. They should share some general information about the disability that they are dealing with as well as the reason for making their employer aware of their disability.

The employer should be made aware of the impact of the disability on how it may affect the employee’s ability to perform their job. Also whenever possible it is most helpful if the employee can share examples of accommodations that have worked for them in the past as well as any accommodations that they may anticipate requiring in their current work environment.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace Why, When, What and How,” accessed May 18, 2015