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Work: Disclosing Your Health Condition

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There is no legal obligation to disclose your medical condition at work either to your employer or to your co-workers

If you do disclose your condition, your employer is under a legal obligation to keep your health information confidential. There is no such requirement for co-workers.

One reason that may prompt you to tell your employer is if you need an accommodation in order to do your job. In the same vein, your relationships with your co-workers may suffer if, without explanation, you start taking time off or show fatigue or weight loss or other side effects.

On the other hand, you may not want to tell your employer if the company has not been sympathetic to people with a condition like yours. You may not want to tell co-workers if the news could be used against you by a competitor at work.

Whether you tell or not, it is advisable to start keeping a work journal about events at work that either show how well you are doing your job or that could seem to be discrimination or harassment. If you ever want to file a discrimination claim, the journal will be helpful.

NOTE: Self employed people and business owners have similar questions.

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