Legally, you aren't required to tell them anything, unless you do need to use the FMLA. If it begins to interfere with your job performance, or your begin to take a lot of sick days, the decision to tell is completely up to you. I had one employer that I was pretty up front with (becaure there were only 5 of us working there) and they weren't very accomodating. At my current employer, due to the nature of my work, they required a medical screening, and so I was forced to inform the med clinic personnel up front that I had UC. I held off telling anyone that I directly work with, mainly because I am a very private person, and when I started there, things were fairly under control. I had a bad flare this summer, missed a few days, and at work I was requiring frequent bathroom trips. So I informed my shift mates about
my condition, in case they were wondering why I sometimes jump up and run from the room. I was given a training opportunity this fall that involved a rather lengthy commitment (at least one day a week for three months), and I ended up turning it down because I just didn't feel good about
signing up, and not being able to hold up my end of the deal. My supervisor asked why I was turning it down, but also said if I wasn't comfortable telling him, he'd take my no at face value. I ended up telling him, and he was very understanding, even told me that I'd get another chance at the training next year. This was a long winded way of saying that it is completely up to you whether or not to tell, but until it starts interfering in some way, I'd hold off. For some people, telling works out to their advantage, for others, it turns out to be detrimental.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06
Meds & supplements:
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort enema every other night, Prednisone (down to 5mg), flaxseed oil, L-glutamine.