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Americans with Disabilities Act protects job applicants

Applying for jobs is stressful for most people, but it may seem even more challenging if a person has a disability. A person may wonder whether he or she should tell potential employers about his or her disability upfront or whether it is acceptable to not mention the disability until necessary.

According to a report from U.S. News & World Report, job applicants can legally withhold information about disabilities. So, job applicants with disabilities can choose whether or not to reveal their disability to the potential employer. Deciding whether to inform the potential employer may depend on the person's disability and what (if any) types of accommodations may be necessary during an interview. For instance, if a person requires a handicap accessible entrance, ensuring the interview location will accommodate this beforehand could be helpful for both the applicant and interviewer.

Besides knowing what information one should tell potential employers during the hiring process, persons with disabilities should also know their rights as job applicants and employees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides various protections to Americans with disabilities. Among these protections, it states that employers are not allowed to discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of a disability. The ADA's anti-discrimination rule applies to many decisions, including those made during the interview and hiring process, during training and when it comes time to select employees for promotion.

If a job applicant or employee with a disability is concerned that his or her employer is not abiding by the ADA, looking into the matter could be very beneficial. A person in this situation may be able to seek financial compensation from his or her employer or potential employer.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "A How-to guide on job searching with a disability," Jada A. Graves, Feb. 28, 2013

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