WORKING WITH PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects approximately 30% of the men and women who have spent time in a war zone. So, as prevalent as PTSD is, does an employee with PTSD have to disclose it to an employer? No.

Employees only need to disclose their disability when and if they need an accommodation to perform the job. It is not necessary to disclose a disability on a job application. Nor is it necessary to disclose during an interview unless you need an accommodation to complete the application or the interview process.

If the employer thinks the employee might have PTSD, s/he can ask that individual to have a medical exam (a “fitness-for-duty” exam) after an incident has occurred on the job that leads the employer to think the employee has PTSD. An employer can also ask for testing if there is a reason s/he believes the employee is unable to do the work, or if accommodations are needed to do the job.

It is illegal for an employer to ask for a medical exam or inquire about PTSD prior to making the offer of employment. If you have PTSD (or any disability), you do not need to submit to a medical exam or answer questions about your disability until after you conditionally offered a job.

If you have PTSD and require an accommodation, you may ask for one at any time you need it to perform the essential functions of the job. You can make the request verbally or in writing, but you are responsible for providing the proof of your disability too.

For more information about Employees with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, go to the Job Accommodation Network at jan@askjan.org.

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