Do I tell people I have lupus for a job interview?

So I am in my early 20s and had been in my first semester of grad school when I had to take medical leave because of the lupus. Recovery ended up being longer than expected and I decided that that particular grad school program was something I didn't want to pursue. Anyways, it's been a year and a half and I'm still in recovery but have been doing better. I'm still in the process of trying to figure out the right medications but I'm getting really antsy being at home, I need some human interaction and I want to become a little financially independent instead of always relying on my parents. I'm looking for a part-time job and want to apply, however, how do I explain why I haven't held a job/school for a year and a half without explaining I have lupus? I know having a disability isnt supposed to limit you from getting a job but I also know that this is not always the case. I dont want them to think I cant handle the job! I haven't been totally inactive, and I've held a v.p. position at a non-profit but I'm not paid. How do I explain this without hurting my chances? Please help!

Some jobs have you fill out a medical form and it will ask you. I have always told them I have lupus. You could share about your non profit experience and what you did there to show the hours you worked and what your duties were.

I see the non profit as a positive, and determination on your resume. You can mention you had a medical setback and during your time recuperating you volunteered. Many people in non profits are volunteers it shows dedication. Get a reference from the company. Go to dept of labor website the answer is there. Most companies have a form to fill out on disability declaration, you can also request accommodations when you need them. I don’t lead with my lupus foot, I lead with accomplishments first, to get the job.

I agree with leading with your accomplishments. Any employer would be impressed at the determination and dedication that you have. I also believe that having lupus is something that employers should be fully aware of. Prior to my diagnosis I would never miss days at work and would go in regardless of whatever I was going through at the time. That is NOT the case now. I know how to do my job quite well and I still put my best foot forward, but I am also aware of my body and know when I need to take a break. While working full time as a teacher and going through my graduate program full time as well, this happened quite often. My employers were knowledgeable from the very beginning of how lupus could effect my attendance–not job performance–and it’s helped to make explaining my need to rest much easier than if I’d hid it.

I don't think that is information you need to give during your job interview. If hired, then that should be shared (if you feel it's necessary). As you know, many people don't understand lupus. It might be something that will hinder their decision; not because you're unqualified but because they might be uneducated on the subject. I would say play it safe for now, don't share that information during your interview. Provide them with that information upon accepting the position. Prove to them that you have fantastic work ethic/developed skills and they will have no problem accommodating for sick days/appointments and possible leave. I was recently in the exact same situation. It's definitely your choice ultimately, but this is still private information and only your choice if you want to share.

You do not have to tell them during the interview. You can wait until you get the job and then make them aware that you may have to leave early or come in late due to doctors visits. Keep it simple, you don't have to tell them every detail but do communicate about it when needed. I am lucky my boss is supportive and never gives me hard time about my appointments. I also always try to schedule them first thing in the morning or the last appointment of the day so that I am not taking off full days. Don't let Lupus rule your life, YOU rule your life! :)

The short simple answer is no...
As an employer of hundreds of people over the years you are not required to divulge that information and if you do even though they are not supposed to discriminate they will...

Bad, I know.... but that is the sad facts...


Thank you all very much for your wonderful input. I’m much more confident about a job interview now… Hopefully I will be called in for one soon! Fingers crossed!

I would say a big NOOOOOO!!!! Yes, your employer will eventually probably need to know but not until you are hired! For many reasons.

One) You are under no legal obligation to do so.

Two) They are not allowed to ask for good reason.

Three) It may keep you from getting the job. Not everybody knows what Lupus is, and if it's between you and someone very similar who doesn't have "some illness that I don't know much about but may be a problem for us", they will choose the other person.

Just explain that you have been volunteering during that time to help develop your skills and contribute to the community. Make it work for you, not against you. Once they see how great of a worker you are, and how you benefit the company....that is when it's time to let them know, not before.

Good Luck to you!!!!