Should you tell the truth, on a job application..?

By Cruise427 Latest Reply 2012-07-14 08:16:24 -0500
Started 2011-02-20 16:47:48 -0600

I've asked several people this question, and i've gotten "mixed" responses… with more people leaning towards telling the truth.. on one hand, i wouldn't want to get caught in a lie and lose any benefits / health insurance…, but on the other hand, there is a privacy issue… for example, you don't go around telling people how much money you make… i was diagnosed about 6 months ago with Type 2, and i am taking Insulin and Pills. I take 1 shot daily,before bedtime,and i take 6 pills a day.. Thank you for any opinions and advice..

37 replies

TsalagiLenape 2012-07-14 08:16:24 -0500 Report

I was told by a job counselor only answer the questions they ask you. Dont give more info than needed. Yet I am a truth teller. I hate LIES and Liars! Yet if someone was to give me a job based on my health then I wouldnt get that job. Plus its discrimination as well. Yet when you do get employed explain why you must eat and etc to your boss and a few co-workers so they dont get annoyed with you, and if you need the help they will be able to offer it to the EMT's when needed. Just an idea. Hugs

old biker
old biker 2012-07-13 17:14:03 -0500 Report

I would tell the truth..You can omit any questions you are not comfortable with..The problem is it my raise a red flag to the interviewer and your answer my be irrelevant to them…There is not much you can keep hidden in this day an age

"Sue" 2012-07-13 16:19:39 -0500 Report

I am some-what you I take 18-units of one-type of insulin w/ my meals and 65 -units at bedtime with my metformin . My doses have been going up and down for quite some time now (over 1-yr.) . I think that should truthful about your health when it comes to your health-insurances, because in one way they will fine out about. That nothing to mess around with. i'm being to fine that out for my -self as well. It is better to be honest and it well be least of a burden on you. I hope that this will be o some help to you.

jayabee52 2012-07-13 16:39:09 -0500 Report

The truth comes later in the hiring process, as in AFTER you are hired.

I can see the value of folks knowing about it after you have been hired but as far as making application for a job, just letting them know that there is something wrong with you physically might lead them to discriminate against you.

Caroltoo 2012-07-14 00:31:15 -0500 Report

However, omission is safer than falsifying something because many companies will terminate you upon discovery of a false statement on the application.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-03-28 22:20:16 -0500 Report

No! The application should not ask you about your health. It may ask if you can lift 25/50 lbs, do repetitive bending etc. That is a yes or no answer and depends on job applying for, but then you should know if you can do it before wanting the job. The employer should nor ask you about your health either, right up there with religion and politics. Now, there are jobs that do require you to pass a physical and they can refuse to hire you if you don't pass it. and that isn't illegal. Who wants a pilot passing out in mid air:)

You should be honest when accepting insurance coverage though. In the health field, nothing is secret. But it is up to individuals to decide how to handle it.

pixsidust 2012-03-28 09:41:21 -0500 Report

Be careful not to make an interview a confessional. Keep it professional to job skills. The only appropriate time to divulge your health is on the insurance application and if you want your co-workers to know. I wanted my co-workers to know!

pixsidust 2012-03-28 09:36:44 -0500 Report

Medical questions should never appear on a job application…period.
If it asks do you have any conditions that will prevent you from doing this work, you can say no.

Medical questions can appear in your insurance application after you are hired. Be honest on your application for Insurance. Its a fallacy that they can not discriminate.
They can just not hire you

I have 25 years of experience as a recruiter

timmy921 2011-12-24 19:05:16 -0600 Report

I personally feel u shld b truthful. Diabetes is at epidemic proportions. U cannot b discriminated against. & yes it cld affect medical coverage but as far as diabetes being a pre-existing condition if memory serves noone can preclude u from coverage for that

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-03-28 22:05:39 -0500 Report

The employer could not hire you because of that and just not tell you. So, unless the application specifically ask, don't tell. Insurance if taken when first able to usually doesn't hit you with pre-existing. If you wait until open enrollment then they will. You just have to wait approx 6 mos, but can be up to 19mo for diabetes only coverage. I have been there and done that, so I know:)

Also, have you ever tried to get private insurance coverage as a diabetic? It is very hard, but if using insulin they won't touch you. It could have change in recent years, as I tried to do it 4 yrs ago in order to stay with the company when my work dropped them and we could only pick BCBS or Etna. I ended up with BCBS.

ShellyLargent 2012-03-28 14:53:01 -0500 Report

Even with group coverage, the insurance company can put a "waiting period" on you before they will cover any pre-existing conditions. You can't be denied coverage, but they can make you wait for certain coverages. That's what mine did, anyway. The insurance offered through my employer was going to make me wait 1 year before they would start covering any of my diabetes related claims. I would have had the same situation through my husband's insurance, except their explaination of "pre-existing" did not apply to me. There was a loophole that I was able to get through and start getting coverage right away. Make sure to read all the carriers' explaination of benefits and coverages very carefully.

Caroltoo 2011-12-24 22:09:46 -0600 Report

If you are applying for a position with a company which offers group insurance, the group insurance is obligated to accept you; individual insurance can discriminate because of illness. The sticking point on these two examples is whether or not this is group or individual coverage.

If you have been with a company long enough to qualify (1 year, I believe), you receive a certificate of coverage from the insurance company at time of termination, which means that you have to be accepted for insurance. If you are uninsured past the time frame (3 mos, I think), then individual insurance can refuse you. Then, of course, there is also COBRA which costs you an arm and a leg because you pay what you paid as well as what your employer paid, which makes such wonderful sense when you have less or no income than when you working.

Most stuff is in our medical records with the insurance oversight boards anyway, so it doesn't pay to be dishonest. I have made a point of telling my employers and coworkers, and have never had a problem because of it.

Sidehack 2011-04-21 14:23:21 -0500 Report

Would you relate your religious denomination if it had no bearing on your job?
You can't be discriminated against due to diabeties. Best thing is not to divulge any personal information if it is not pertinant to your job.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-21 11:48:05 -0500 Report

There should not be any place on the job application that asks about your health, except as it relates to the job you are doing. Example: If you are applying to be a high steel worker and you pass out at times…probably need to find a new line of work. I do maintenamce work and I am on roofs and ladders at times. As long as I keep myself hydrated, there is no problem and they do not need to know.
Once you are in the job and you meet your co-workers, if you feel comfortable with it, go ahead and confide. Tell them where you keep your med list and what, if any, problems you may experience at work.

LUVTETE 2011-03-04 22:09:00 -0600 Report

you do not have to tell them you have diabetes but if you couldn't carry 50lbs and that is the requirement of the job than yes you need to tell them that. after you get hired if you feel you need to tell them you have diabetes than go ahead but otherwise I wouldn't tell them

pixsidust 2011-03-04 19:21:18 -0600 Report

I have worked 24 years as a Recruiter for an International Recruiting firm of 700 offices in 25 countries. I consult with companies across the country and Europe

I am presuming by Truth, you mean talk about your Health? So I am addressing this from that point of view only. There is a time and a place.

The question being on the job application. On the job application, NO.
Never provide "discriminatory information" on the job application. The only health question I know of on an application is; Do you have any health issues that would prevent you from doing this work/job. This should be the only health question you encounter. I would presume if you are applying then you feel you can do the work…so the answer is NO and that should be the Truth as well. That is not a question that requires you to bare all. The application is to help determine "Can you do the Job"?

"After" you get hired then as you get to know people, share perhaps at lunch that you are Diabetic. After" you get hired then you must fill out
everything in full disclosure in your benefit paperwork for insurance purposes.

An application and benefit paperwork are separate.
You can make sure for your personal safety and life security that your employer is aware of your Diabetes after you become a Valued Employee!

northerngal 2011-04-21 16:26:04 -0500 Report

That is an awesome answer. Right on every count. I'd only add that if there is a waitiing period to qualify for health insurance, don't disclose until after that period has passed. Usually during probationary periods, they don't need a reason to fire you. Once that's passed, it must be justified and documented.

PetiePal 2011-02-22 08:00:31 -0600 Report

Only a few "friends" at work know in case I should ever pass out or something…but I usually don't. It doesn't impact my work so they really have no reason to know.

digitaldoorbell 2011-02-21 18:20:43 -0600 Report

I have worked in human resources for a couple of decades. I have a masters degree in the field and work for a large non-profit agency. I would always recommend NOT disclosing health conditions on a job application. It is ilegal to even ask, so it shouldn't be there. Recent federal law, GINA, even prohibits discrimination against genetic information. State laws also protect employees and applicants. The amendments to the ADA are all-encompassing. So, it's two issues, if you feel like disclosing once hired; do so. I do have a question. How many of your co-workers disclose drug additction? Alcoholism? Cardiac problems? Mental health issues? Anything?

Each to their own and do what is comfortable, but I would never recommend it.

Good luck,


april404 2011-04-21 17:31:16 -0500 Report

I strongly agree. Ive had cardiac problems for 15yrs and I didnt disclose it until I had too. I didnt give more information than they were asking for because number one, the job market was so tight anyway, the competition has almost come down to survival of the fittest—so re-entering the job market I didnt want to give any reasons to 'not' hire me but after a sudden trip to the ER then and only then did I tell the supervisor which it did impact what work they would 'allow' me to do. I get so upset about how people react when you say 'heart' anything—so I just didnt say anything until I had to say somehting. Now Im on disability so after 28yrs of hanging out in the rat race, I guess Ive been put out to pasture…LOL But dont give anyone information or ammunition to put pre concieved limitations on you—Good Luck

MewElla 2011-02-21 13:31:18 -0600 Report

I sure do agree with you Melissa. It makes me feel better if the people around me on a pretty normal schedule know that I am diabetic and where my supply bag is (usually always with me). Not that I have had a major situation around any of my friends, but hey, we never know when the unexpected will happen. I have no problem with being upfront and honest with my friends.

melissa5786 2011-02-21 13:26:59 -0600 Report

When it comes to my diabetes I always tell the truth. It's not really about insurance. Like Gabby said, it's about life and death. Someone needs to know your health background when it comes to something as serious as diabetes.

I've never had a problem with people knowing. They've asked a lot of questions, but I'm happy to answer them. I let someone know where my supplies are and keep them near (or with me) my entire shift. That way it's always in reach.

This extends to outside of work as well. If I'm with friends they all know where my things are, who to call in case of an emergency and what my eating schedule is. I also make sure someone is comfortable with giving shots, just in case. It's never happened and hopefully it never will.

I just assume it's always safe for the people around you to know what's going on.

GabbyPA 2011-02-21 13:12:55 -0600 Report

I would suggest the truth. It is on the application and you need to make some people aware of what is going on with you. It is not just an insurance thing, but a life or death thing. Your application is not public knowledge and if you don't want to share that private information with co-workers that is fine. But someone there needs to know and they need to know what to do if you need assistance.

Cruise427 2011-02-21 15:29:05 -0600 Report

everybody had really good advice and comments…thank you, … to make a long story short, i was "disqualified" for a position at a "large" company that deals in the transportation business..i'm not gonna say the name or position… i mentioned that i was very recently diagnosed as diabetic, and things seemed to be going smooth, until i mentioned, that i shoot myself with "insulin"… that's when i noticed a "weird look", and he followed with a "disqualification speech"…about liability and insurance reasons… i understand life is not fair, and i'm not complaining, just commenting…i agree with everybody's opinion on being honest…the next job i apply to,… i will be upfront and honest also…

MarkS 2011-04-21 12:11:13 -0500 Report

Hey Cruise, If you were disqualified because of "liability and insurance" you may have legal recourse. While I don't know the exact events, position, and conversation involved, if its discrimination because of you being a diabetic then you do have recourse. Good luck.

GabbyPA 2011-02-21 20:23:09 -0600 Report

See, in this case being a driver is very restricted when you are diabetic. I can kind of understand. You would be driving a large vehicle or something that is transporting large numbers of people. That is putting all of their lives in your hands and that is a liability that they cannot take. My brother was diagnosed years after he started driving a truck. He was not in good control and he was in a lot of ways a ticking time bomb at the wheel. He never had any issues, but because he was not well controlled, it was always a risk.

The ADA act helps a lot with removing the discrimination, but we should also be honest with ourselves when we apply for a job. Is our condition going to cause issues? Most of the time it won't, but there are some jobs that I would not consider anymore because of being diabetic. I would be too much of a pain in the butt with the conditions I might require.

So while it might not be required on the application. I would in all honesty make sure it was a job I could do without issue before I would decline to mention it.

Harlen 2011-02-20 20:51:46 -0600 Report

Tell the truth always .
Do they ask if you have any med prob or only if they will hamper your work ???
I hope this helps
Best wishes

petals 2011-02-20 18:20:46 -0600 Report

Always tell the truth, that is much easier to remember then a lie. And if you tell one lie, then you will tell another one and pretty soon you have the snowball effect.

kdroberts 2011-02-20 17:58:09 -0600 Report

It depends on what you mean. It's not legal to ask about health issues on an application or interview so you shouldn't have to tell anything then. If you are declining medical or other insurance then you don't have to declare any health problems. The only time you need to is if you are applying for health benefits or other insurance that needs a medical or if you are claiming a special accommodation based on the Americans with disabilities act.

MewElla 2011-02-20 17:53:11 -0600 Report

There's only way to do this…be honest. Possible problems down the road otherwise. You will make the right choice I am sure. Good Luck to you.

MAYS 2011-02-20 17:41:01 -0600 Report

Yes you should, but the choice is yours.
There are consequences for lying if it is discovered, and proven to be done to secure employment (in most states) so consider the possible outcome.

You do have legal rights, some of which may vary from state to state, and\or are based on the type of job that you are employed at, or applying for.

I have given you my opinion, the choice is yours.


realsis77 2011-02-20 17:16:02 -0600 Report

Hi.I would definately just tell the truth. They are NOT allowed to discrimnate aginst you for any health issues legally. Its better to be up front. Id just answer any questions honestly. They might not ask. If any questions do lead to your health issues then be honest. Its much better that way.

Meganshene 2011-02-20 18:05:07 -0600 Report

I never told my job about my diabeties untill the day I fell very sick. I know how you feel but the fact in the matter is what if something happened to you at work and you were not able to talk and tell them that either your levels are high or too low. I know I do not wear the necklace or bracelet. I know that I should be but my necklace broke and I do not even know where it is. I think your health and how much you make are too different things. Your health is more important then anything. Money is noone's bussiness but when it comes to your health that is different. There are laws that do protect you against you from being denied a job. You could sue them if they say that they deny you that jobbecause of your health.

Cruise427 2011-02-20 18:47:07 -0600 Report

Thanks everybody for your advice and opinions… in the past i've never had a problum with a job application,..simply because i never had diabetes, i was diagnosed less than a year ago, and since then i've been forced to change jobs… so, when i go to apply for work this week, it'll be my first time mentioning to an employer that i have diabetes.. a part of me doesn't wanna do it, because i feel i might get discrimated against, but common sense tells me…you gotta tell the truth..

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