I just accepted my dream job, and I can’t wait to get started. Unlike my last job, however, no one knows I have a bleeding disorder. When should I approach my new employer with this, and how much should I share?
New Job Jitters
Dear New Job,
You only need to disclose that you have a bleeding disorder if you need an accommodation. For example, do you need a place to infuse or store factor? Or, do you anticipate being late to work or needing more time off because of your bleeding disorder? Your right to a reasonable accommodation in the workplace is protected under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination and guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities.
To request an accommodation, you will need to disclose your medical condition to your manager. Be prepared with materials to educate them on bleeding disorders and your needs. Your employer may also ask medical questions or require an exam. To help you prepare for this conversation, review HFA’s employment issues toolkit or National Hemophilia Foundation’s (NHF) Steps for Living guide to workplace issues.
In terms of disclosing to other colleagues, this is a personal choice. Consider your comfort with others knowing that you have a bleeding disorder. At your last job, what was the response from your colleagues, and how did it make you feel? Disclose at your discretion—you are not expected or required to share this information.
Good luck and congratulations on your new position!
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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.