Epilepsy and Employment Disclosure Chart

Advantages:

  • Honesty. Peace of mind.
  • Easy. Allows employer to decide if epilepsy is an issue.

Disadvantages:

  • Might disqualify you with no opportunity to present yourself and your qualifications and no recourse.
  • Potential for discrimination.

Issues:

  • If you use this technique, you may have a harder time finding work, but usually have no epilepsy-related problems when you do.

Advantages:

  • Honesty. Peace of mind.
  • Opportunity to respond briefly and positively – in person – to specific epilepsy issues.
  • Discrimination less likely face-to-face.

Disadvantages:

  • Puts responsibility on you to handle epilepsy issues in a clear, non-threatening way.
  • Too much emphasis on issue indicates possible problem. You are not being evaluated on your abilities.

Issues:

  • How comfortable are you with discussing your epilepsy? Are you too preoccupied with epilepsy? These are very difficult questions, but ones that you can prepare to answer.

Advantages:

  • Honesty. Peace of mind.
  • If the epilepsy information changes the hiring decision, and you are sure that your seizures will not interfere with your ability to perform the job, there may be legal recourse.

Disadvantages:

  • Employer might feel you should have told him before hiring decision was made.
  • Might lead to distrust with personnel department.

Issues:

  • Need to evaluate seizure condition honestly in light of the specific tasks of the job you are applying for.
  • Need to be able to explain how epilepsy will not interfere with ability to perform job. This includes job safety.

Advantages:

  • Opportunity to prove yourself on the job before disclosure.
  • Allows you to respond to epilepsy questions with peers at work.
  • If disclosure affects employment status and the condition doesn’t affect ability to perform job or job safety, you may be protected by law.

Disadvantages:

  • Nervousness or fear of having a seizure on the job.
  • Possible employer accusation of falsifying your application.
  • Possibility of a seizure before co-workers know how to react.
  • Could change interaction with peers.

Issues:

  • The longer you put off disclosing, the harder it becomes.
  • It may be difficult to identify who to tell.

Advantages:

  • Opportunity to prove yourself on job before disclosure.
  • If seizure affects employment status but the seizures do not affect your ability to perform your job or job safety, you may be protected by law.

Disadvantages:

  • Possible employer accusation of falsifying your application.
  • Possibility that your co-workers will not have known how to react to your seizure.
  • Can perpetuate epilepsy myths and misunderstandings.

Issues:

  • Relationships you establish with co-workers may be hurt if they feel you have been untruthful with them. It may be difficult to re-establish trust.

Advantages:

  • Employer can’t react to your epilepsy unless you have a seizure.

Disadvantages:

  • If epilepsy is discovered, you run the risk of being fired.
  • Nervousness and fear of having a seizure on the job. If you have a seizure, might be hurt by inappropriate first aid.
  • Studies show that people who don’t disclose have higher incidence of seizures on the job.
  • Can perpetuate epilepsy myths and misunderstandings.

Issues:

  • If you haven’t had a seizure for a long time (over two years) the issues of disclosure become less critical.