‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com . Dear J.T. & Dale: I was assaulted by a former neighbor. As a result, I suffered a stroke and have headaches that lead to seizures. I lost my job after suffering a seizure during a phone call. How do I handle this in an interview? — Cynthia Dale: Before we get to future interviews, Cynthia, I was dismayed to hear that a seizure cost you your job. So let's bring into the conversation a long-time friend of this column, employment law expert Scott Gordon of the Rodey Law Firm in Albuquerque, N.M., and ask him if there is something — perhaps the Americans with Disabilities Act — that would come into play. SCOTT: Whether or not Cynthia has a "disability" would depend in part on whether her condition is short term or long term. If her headaches and seizures are expected to continue, then she may very well be protected by the ADA. Dale: So if she's going to recover, then it's OK to fire her? SCOTT: No, but it wouldn't be a matter for the ADA, which does not cover short-term impairments. If you have the flu or a broken leg, you'll recover; therefore, you are not disabled. However, there are limitations on an employer's ability to terminate an employee who has a short-term impairment. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires the employer to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to an employee with a serious medical condition. There are, of course, exceptions. J.T.: Let's assume for now that Cynthia's former employer complied or that she doesn't want to fight the decision. While legal restrictions might keep a potential employer from asking about health or medical conditions, they won't prevent questions about why she left her last job. SCOTT: I would advise Cynthia to answer honestly but without specifics. She might say: "I was terminated for reasons related to a medical issue. I think the decision was wrong, but I've chosen not to challenge it." A well-trained interviewer will know not to ask about the medical condition, but might ask her about not fighting the decision. She might then say: "I don't have to always be right. Sometimes it's better to preserve a relationship." If I were hiring, Cynthia would move to the top of my list. J.T.: She needs to do a bit more to get to the top of my list — you don't want to leave an interviewer wondering whether you can do the job. Perhaps, Cynthia, you could explain how you handle the headaches and minimize the chance of seizures. Dale: You end up hoping that someone will take an interest in helping you. That works, especially if you say something like: "I need someone to give me a chance to show how effective I can be. I'll really come through for such a person." Instead of interviewers feeling that they might be dragged into your life problems, your medical issue becomes a work advantage: greater effort and lasting gratitude. Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com . Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com , where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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