I have a conditional offer from a hospital for an RN position which requires a medical exam, drug test and background check. I have bipolar disorder 1. According to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), employers cannot ask you if I have a disability before an offer is made. They did not ask me. However, they can ask if you can perform the “essential duties”.
During the medical exam if I disclose my illness, the hospital cannot withdraw their offer based on disability. They are required by the ADA to give me an accommodation. But that is only if I meet their “standard qualifications”. One of their standard qualifications could be something like, must exhibit an even mood in which case, the offer will probably be withdrawn. If the standard qualification justification isn’t used, they will probably find a different reason, that is not illegal, to withdraw the offer.
However, if I don’t disclose and later I start exhibiting symptoms of a high or low mood, they can terminate me because I lied. Or if they get a hold of my past medical records, which I don’t know if they can through the very broad release I signed, they will see I have an illness and fire me because I lied.
I know it’s best to be honest, but then my job prospects are low as mental illness is highly stigmatized in the healthcare industry. What should I do?