Is Crohn’s disease a disability? If you are an employer, you should stay up to date on the latest laws that are in place regarding disability discrimination and Crohn’s disease. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that yes, Crohn’s disease meets the ADA’s definition of a disability. There are rules about what you can do and what you are not able to do during the hiring process. Disability discrimination laws confuse many people, and employers need to be clear on what is expected of them when they begin to hire new employees.
The most important thing that employers need to keep in mind when it comes time to interview prospective employees is they cannot ask an individual about their disabilities. Employers are free to ask questions about how the potential employee plans to act and perform a job. However, under disability discrimination laws, employers are not allowed to ask a prospective employee if a visible disability would prevent him or her from being able to perform or function in the job. Likewise, employers are not allowed to ask an applicant if they have any disabilities which could prevent him or her from being able to do the job.
One way that employers are getting around this is by providing prospective employees with a detailed list of job functions during the interview process. Then, employers can ask the potential employee how he or she plans to go about doing the job. By approaching the subject of job performance this way, it enables applicants the chance to talk about any strengths, weaknesses, and qualifications they may have. This is also the chance where applicants can alert employers to any accommodations that would be needed for them to be able to perform a particular job.
It is important to note that employers do have the right to ask an applicant with a visible disability what accommodations that he or she would need to be able to perform a job. However, if you do not have any reason to think that a person has a disability, you cannot come out and ask them if he or she would need special accommodations or equipment to perform a job.
If you are unclear about Crohn’s disease disability discrimination laws and your responsibilities as an employer, you should get informed. You can request a hiring guide by going to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.