Q. The pandemic has made me nervous about the companies I apply to. I want to make sure they are concerned about workplace safety and health and will not force me into a position where I am worried about catching COVID-19. If I mention my health concerns on my resume or at my interview, will employers reject me? I want to keep myself and my family safe without going through our entire health history.
A. You are not alone in worrying about workplace safety and health. A recent survey by KPMG showed 91% of 140 chief executives plan to ask employees whether they are vaccinated. Another survey by Ambius discovered that workers would take a lower-paying job in return for a healthier work environment, and 70% plan to ask future employers about health and hygiene practices.
So the good news is that nearly everyone has workplace safety and health on their minds, from executives to employees. When is the best time to raise the issue of company protections for employees?
Your resume has never been the place to offer information about your health or your health concerns. Legally, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are not required to disclose even a chronic illness or disability, as long as you can perform the job’s tasks with reasonable accommodation. For example, if a job requires you to lift 50 pounds, you must be able to lift 50 pounds. If the job does not require you to lift anything heavier than a pencil, you need not reveal your inability to lift weights.
Employers, by law, cannot reject you for an illness or impairment unless it affects your ability to do your job. Therefore, they cannot legally reject you for expressing concerns about workplace safety and health.
However, the time to ask about workplace safety and health is later in the interview process, when you have already established rapport, and you are well on the way to a job offer. You do not want to undermine your chances by raising any issue too soon.
Robin’s Resumes® works with many people who have both visible and hidden physical and mental challenges and helps them develop a resume that gives them the best possible interview chance. Questions about COVID-19 precautions do not belong on your resume, but we offer coaching and resume writing services that help you target companies that care about your health as much as you do.