Disclosing A Medical Diagnosis To Your Employer

Graylin Bee
By Graylin Bee Latest Reply 2013-04-15 22:54:59 -0500
Started 2013-04-14 19:30:45 -0500

This subject has been discussed here in the past, but today it came up in my life.
There was a note near the time clock and on the breakroom door and taped to the computor screens at two nurses stations when I got to work Friday night. "Important all employees must come in either on 4/14 or 4/15. We have a new pay role management group and everyone must fill out new paperwork."
So, this morning I stayed awake after my shift to go in 4 hours after getting off to fill in paperwork. On about the 6th or 7th page they started asking me health questions. Any work related injury claims ever, any treatment for a serious illness in the last 5 years, treatment for alcohol problems ever, treatment for back or neck injuries ever, ever treated for repetitive motion injuries, every treated for diabetes, alll in all about 20 questions with little boxes to checkmark yes or no.
My puzzlement was why only diabetes as a specific disease/chronic condition (ok, except alcoholism implied by the question about treatment). Not lupus, stress disorders, thyroid problems, sexual trasnmitted diseases, heart problems, cancers, celliac, lymphedemea, fibromyalgia, stroke, etc.
Made me feel a little targeted as I dutifully checked yes for diabetes.

Also got my new options for health insurance coverage. They are changing them, had filled out my choice for the old plan just a few months ago. Get to go to either a 10 am or 3 pm meeting about those options later this week. Hate having to decide between 100% covered after the deductable is met or $15 or $20 dollar office call copay. This much or that much for ER visit - at that line all I see is me in a room with worried looking doctors, techs, machines and me in a whole lotta MRSA pain, knowing that this shoud exceed the deductable.

7 replies

manapua72 2013-04-15 22:54:31 -0500 Report

I'm very open about being diabetic … Most of my coworkers in my department know I'm diabetic , many coworkers in other departments know I'm diabetic … Management knows I'm diabetic yeah just about everyone … I've got nothing to hide and I'm not ashamed one bit … Got my insulin , and live to explain how to use it and what it does for me … Happy to correct people that are so misinformed about diabetes …

95ncountin 2013-04-15 01:21:33 -0500 Report

Hi! Your experience bothers me on several different levels. So I did a little research and found that this is covered by the "Americans With Disabilities Act." The law provides specific provisions for the employer to collect the information about employees health. One is for the ministration of health insurance.

Additionally, the law imposes upon the employer an obligation to collect the information in a specific manner. Information must be stored separately from the employees personal file. The health questions must be asked for on a separate document. The information baby disclosed to superiors and others but only under certain conditions.

Assuming that the HR person knew the law, you shouldn't be too uncomfortable with the question. If you still feel uncomfortable, I would prefer to the Americans With Disabilities Act and subsequent regulations. The information was readily available on the Internet. If I was not on my cell phone, I could give you the link. But a Google search will get you there.

We are protected class of people under the Americans With Disabilities Act when it comes to situations such as this. I will protect my right to privacy because the law affords me the privacy. PM me if you need to.

Have a nice cup of tea and put your feet up. It's your weekend now. Lol.


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-04-15 09:28:50 -0500 Report

Got home, feet propped up, lap top busy. Googled the ADA site.

Since every current emploee is having to fill out the identical paper work it seems they can ask certain questions. What the questions can be I have not sluethed out yet. Did compare a co-worker's page last night and it had the same questions as mine did.

Since I have been with the company for around 2 years with no sick time used, even working double shifts, short turn around shifts, and some 6 day weeks, they should not be legally able to say Diabetes has affected her ability to preform her job. Received the same annual raise as all my coworkers based on length of employment and job performance. So again do not believe they can legally say Diabetes is affecting my ability to perform the job.

While the HR person was looking over my paperwork another employee came into the office and was directed were to pick up their insurance information packet. After the HR person finished looking over my paperwork, she had me take my insurance information packet from the same stack. So I don't see a problem there.

Sorry if I seem a little jumpy, but my hubby was put through the wringer when he was employed by a State agency. His was a disibility issue that happened during the time of his employment, but was not a workman's comp issue. After dealing with the disibility insurance company and the State, I don't trust that insurance companies or employers have my best interest at heart.

I am still really bothered by the fact that Diabetes was the only specificlly named condition, other than alcoholism and drug rehab. Why would cancer, epilepsy, heart problems, etc get a pass, if they are looking for something that could cause health insurance issues?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-04-15 01:42:20 -0500 Report

Thanks. The page was just paper clipped with the others, so will propably be in a seperate file. Just really bugged me that diabetes was about the only one of lots of diagnoses singled out.
Tonight is the middle of my week, but will have a nice cold ice water, with feet up during my dinner break. Thanks again.
Enjoy your weekend!!!

Harlen 2013-04-14 21:51:05 -0500 Report

You need not tell them any med Q unless you wish too unless it will affect the job you do.
We go thru this every other your .
Best wishes

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-04-14 21:59:00 -0500 Report

This was mandatory. I had left one of the other boxes blank and had to check either yes or no before the HR person would accept the form. Without the completed form I would most likely not be working on May 1.