QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Work & Finances

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I am in the process of looking for a new job. Some years back, I was treated on an inpatient unit for depression. I still see a psychologist once a week and take medication. Do I have to tell a prospective employer?

Answer

No, The American Disability Act (or ADA) makes it illegal for an employer to ask you anything related to your health - physical or mental - unless the problem will effect the essential functions of your employment. Therefore, unless you will be needing to attend frequent appointments relating to your condition during working hours (such as a partial hospitalization program) or there are aspects of your job you would not be able to handle because of your depression, you are not required to tell a prospective or current employer.

Good luck with the job hunt!

3/12/98

Annemarie Infantino Murphy, Ph.D.

 

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