Employment Preparation

Maximizing your employment potential

We believe that everyone, regardless of disability, has the right to be gainfully employed. Employment leads to greater economic self-sufficiency, and gives someone the opportunity to use their skills to be a productive member of their community. While we do not offer direct placement, we strive to empower people living with epilepsy by helping them prepare for employment.

Persons with epilepsy often face many challenges when searching for employment. These challenges range from the uncertainty of when or how to disclose their health condition to how to ask for accommodations.

If you are interested in assistance with employment preparation, please consider the questions below. Your answers to these questions will help guide our conversation on how best to assist you.

You should also start to work on a resume describing your education and work experience.


Your Rights in the Workplace

Disclosing Your Disability

Some people choose not to disclose their medical condition until after they have been offered a position because, by law, an employer may not discriminate against you for having a disability once they extend an offer (unless that disability would put yourself or others in danger). However, you MUST disclose a disability when accepting the offer if you require any kind of workplace accommodations, or to be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Drug Screening

Many employers will request a drug test before hiring, which may automatically disclose your medical condition if you do not alert the tester. Certain medications may also turn up as a false positive for other kinds of drugs, such as marijuana. Whether or not it shows up may be dependent on the amount of medication being taken, time of last dose, and specific type of test used. It may help to bring your prescription bottle(s) to the drug screening and inform the testers.

Employment Discrimination

Unfortunately, discrimination in the workplace can and does happen. When a person is living with the stress of feeling that they are the victim of discrimination, they often have a lot of questions. What do I do if I feel that my employer has discriminated against me? What constitutes employment discrimination? What are my rights under the ADA? How and where do I file a claim of employment discrimination? Knowing how to react appropriately isn’t always easy.

Employment discrimination can occur in hiring and firing; compensation, assignment, transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall; job advertisements; recruitment; testing; use of company facilities; training and apprenticeship programs; fringe benefits; or other terms and conditions of employment.

There are several state and federal laws that apply to employment discrimination. Trying to determine which laws apply to your situation is difficult. Our staff can talk with you about your specific situation. In some cases, we can work with you and your employer to negotiate a solution to the problems you may be experiencing at work. In other instances, you may find that you are, in fact, in a discriminatory situation. In that event, we can help to guide you through the process of filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, or both.

Additional Resources

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA expands equal employment opportunity and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Through its work to implement the ADA, the Department of Justice is breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.

Disability Rights Pennsylvania

This organization helps people with disabilities in many areas including access to community services, discrimination, and ADA compliance issues.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

The PA Human Relations Commission promotes equal opportunity for all and enforces Pennsylvania’s civil rights laws that protect people from unlawful discrimination. PHRC investigates employment discrimination complaints on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Resources for Job Seekers

Bender Consulting Services, Inc.

Bender Consulting is a leader in the employment of people with disabilities. They work to match leading employers with talented staff through recruitment, hiring, training, and monitoring.

United Disability Services (UDS) Foundation

The UDS Foundation provides many programs and services to the disability community including employment services.