Job interviews

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J.W.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 5/2/2008 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had two job interviews in the last month with two major companies (that will remain nameless) and at both interviews I was asked why I was discharged from the military. I replied very vaguely, that I was discharged Honorably due to a disability. They asked what my disability was and when I responded it was due to U.C, I got a "oh" response. Needless to say I did not get either job. Any one else have an experience like this and also was it ethical for the company to ask me the disability question. By the way the jobs did not require any rigorous activity that would be limited by U.C.

J.W

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 5/2/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure it's okay for them to ask you why you were discharged - they know it was honorable. I think it isn't legal to ask about a disability. The instructions our HR department has given is that I can ask "Do you believe you would be able to perform all the functions of this job, with or without reasonable accommodations?" But I have to ask every applicant.
 
You might check with your local VA representative on laws regarding that. He may also be able to give you some tips on how to respond to the question.

If you're in remission now, you might tell them you received an honorable discharge due to a physical illness, but you're now feeling fit and well.


Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/2/2008 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering did you get your Master's paid for?
Forum Co-moderator
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 5/2/2008 7:58:47 PM (GMT-6)


slim18996
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 5/2/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   

J.W.,

I can't post on the legalities of the situation but with the information that you gave I am inclined to say that you may have read more into it.  The reason I say this is because with my experience with people and explaining my condition, they either know it, and will be proud to explain the family member or friend that has it to explain their knowledge of the disease, or they will have no clue what UC is even if you call it Ulcerative Colitis.  The latter group will either dismiss it, not caring what it is or they will ask the next logical question which is "What is UC?"  Since you got the "oh" response after saying you had UC then I would guess that the interviewer had no idea what the disease was and cared little to learn anymore potentially assuming since it wasn't a noticeable physical disability that it probably wouldn't hinder your ability to perform the work.  Numerous people are discharged from the service with a disability for flat feet so if the interviewer had any prior experience with military disabilities he/she would know that there are many that have no affect on normal activities.  I am sorry if I don’t have all the facts but even if the companies are so anal that they would discriminate so readily then I would call it a blessing that you found out now and not later.  I wouldn’t want to work for a company that is that unsympathetic and I wouldn’t spend my life filing lawsuits against said companies.  Just the way I am I guess.

 


  • Diagnosed with UC 2003 (but had sympoms as far back as1993)
  • Just found to have a large hiatal hernia 5/2/08
  • Hospitalized 3/08 for sepsis, 7 days ICU due to complication brought on by prolonged use of steroids
  • Current status = flair (no remission in five years)
  • Prednisone 30mg tappering 10mg every two weeks
  • Asacol 1200mg three times a day
  • Imuran 100mg
  • Protonix 40 mg twice a day
  • Levbid 0.375 twice a day
  • Calcium 600 mg
  • Asprin 81 mg

 


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 5/3/2008 2:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Just out of curiosity, I would ask an attorney about whether it was legal. You might not want to bring action against the companies, but it would be good to know for future reference whether a prospective employer is stupid enough to ask you an illegal question.

Second, I would contact the HR departments at these companies and let them know what your interviewer asked you. I think that they would want to know that the person representing their company asked you a question that's at best stupid and at worst illegal. You might get another interview offered to you with a better, more experienced interviewer to make up for the bad experience.

In the future, I would either answer that question with "it was a something that effected my ability to serve in the military but has no bearing on the job I am applying for" OR I would answer lightly something like, "gee, I thought that question was illegal. Aren't you supposed to ask me something like, 'do you have any disability that would prevent you from doing this job?'" Your correcting them would be more of a favor to them -- like, hey, I don't want you to get in trouble for asking me the wrong question.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


UC Dude
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 5/3/2008 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Regardless of whether they can ask legally or not why you were discharged, I would simply answer that it was for reasons that no longer allowed you to serve in the military, but that it would not impact your ability to do the job you are applying for. I would offer no further explanation and they should not ask.
 


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 5/3/2008 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Good answers, Julee and UC Dude.

I suspect you could be getting passed over not because they're concerned about your ability to do the job, but because they're worried about what a person with any illness may do to their health insurance costs. This has become a huge issue for employers over the past ten years, as they know sometimes hiring one person with a chronic illness can raise rates for everyone. Because of the restrictions on what can be asked, they may just select out anyone who seems to have any sort of health problems.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/3/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Actually there are some rather large well known companies that get tax benefits for employing disabled vets. Have you googled for those companies? Or for those companies that want people who are former military (especially officers)?

As to your interviews it is a very grey area and I would consult a lawyer.
Forum Co-moderator
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 5/3/2008 10:13:12 AM (GMT-6)


Bigphule
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 5/3/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Personally I wouldn't seek legal action in this case.  Though I would try to gain more information about the legality of the interviewer's question and then inform their HR department.  If that means asking a lawyer then so be it, but  There are many jobs to be had out there and MMMNAVY is right there are some great companies that specifically target Vets/DV like us.  (USMC 2000-2005) 
 
You never know what kind of responce you'd get if you called those two companies up and told them what they did in a professional way and how you felt about it. 
 
 
Diagnosed UC 12/2007
 
 
Prednisone 15mg x 1/day ~ On going recent change 4/3/2008
 


J.W.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 5/3/2008 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the responses. I have been working with the VA Vocational Rehabilitation office, I think I am going to ask my councilor what I should do when the question comes up. MMMNavy, so far the VA has declined to pay for my masters, but I got a new councilor this month who might help me out. Getting turned down for two entry level jobs actually has some benefits when it comes to trying to get help from the VA for assistance to go back to school. I have been taking classes anyway with the help of some scholarships and good old student loans.
Diagnosed with pan-ulcerative colitis May 06
4X3 Asacol daily
Off of Pred.
 Also: Slippery Elm, AloeVera, Fish oil, Calcium with Magnesium and Zinc, Nature Made Multi Complete Daily Vitamin, Jarrow Formulas Dophilus, and Guar Gum for fiber
VSL#3 2 times a day!!! Feeling AWESOME!
 
 


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 5/3/2008 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Most of you know that I am a lawyer, and I never answer the legal questions on here for obvious reasons, but... this one seems to come up over and over, so I will give my opinion.

Yes, an employer can ask about your disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer has the right to determine if an applicant can perform the functions of the job. You told the employer that you were discharged for a disability, so you put your "disability" out there in the job interview (you had to, of course. don't misread my tone with that comment). That opens the door for the employer to delve deeper.

My advice would be to answer that you were discharged for "a medical condition." Don't be specific. They shouldn't ask anything more after that.
Proud new mom of a beautiful baby boy!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)


**NiCoLe**
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 5/3/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I, too, was discharged from the military for UC. I have yet to go on a job interview, but when I do, I don't see why I would need to disclose that I was discharged because of a disability. I received an Honorable discharge and unless the position requires them to see my DD Form 214, that's all that they need to know. I guess some people might think that I'm being devious or untruthful, but I don't think that it's fair to be judged because we have UC. If I know that I can perform the duties that are required, then there is no reason for me to have to share my medical information.
Diagnosed in Jan 2007, but had bowel issues for years

Sulfasalazine - 4 pills 2x a day

Hospitalized for 9 days in Feb 2008 (IV steroid)

Was using VSL #3, but it made me throw up (I'm pregnant and nauseous)

Hydrocortisone and Rowasa enemas when needed (which is usually ALWAYS!)


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 5/3/2008 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Expecting226, Thanks for weighing in on the legal side. It makes sense that the employer has a right to determine if someone is physically able to perform a job. The interesting thing about UC is that even in a flare, most of us can still do a jobs with just a few extra trips to the bathroom. I'm not certain that any employer would be able to determine accurately whether someone with UC could do a specific job.

I much prefer your suggestion of saying "medical condition" which could imply that it was finite and that it's not an ongoing disability. I don't think the average person would understand that I have a disease that makes some months of my life difficult and the rest of the time I'm just like everyone else.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/4/2008 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you expecting226 (and congrats!) those last two sentences was exactly the wording I was looking for. I was looking for the appropriate language to use and thought a lawyer might help with that.
Forum Co-moderator
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 5/4/2008 7:34:30 AM (GMT-6)

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