EOE voluntary application questions


When you fill out an application for the voluntary questions asking if you have a disability, are a veteran, and gender, do you answer them or decline answering them?

One time I saw a question asking if you earn disability income. I don’t know if this is a legal application question.



I would assume it would depend on what sort of application you are filling out. But if the possibility of legal ramifications could occur if you didn’t answer then yes I’d answer. As I can think of 100’s of different types of application forms, some I would and some I wouldn’t.

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For employment applications, U.S. employers are required under federal law to keep disability responses cofidential, and not report it to anyone making employment decisions unless you ask for an accommodation.

Many governments jobs provide preference in employment for veterans and so veterans may be asked questions to determine degree of preference.



I have read not to reveal your disability on applications. I do fine one one one with interviewers.

I was not sure if answering that voluntary part of the application would allow employers to see it because like you said they give preference to veterans, so they have to see it somehow…It is a tricky area because we don’t really know how that shows up on the other end when they review your application.

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You can get veteran preference in government jobs without a disability, so just answer that if you want. In some states, additional preference applies if a disabled vet. But up to you to claim that or not.

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I have always been up front and truthful, now I believe it isn’t anyone’s business if I do or don’t get a disability income.



Yeah, I know it’s not anyone’s business. It was on an application form for a part-time job asking whether you need to work reduced hours because of SSDI. It was a part-time job with low pay. I was wondering if this is legal to ask in an application form.



No that isn’t legal, full stop.



To whom should this be reported to?



Complaints go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The only questions that can be asked before a conditional offer of employment are about accommodations that would be needed by applicants that voluntarily disclose a disability during the process or are obvious to the employer ( you show up to an interview for security guard with a seeing eye dog).

This question sounds like the business has been burned by someone who couldn’t work the hours they wanted a couple of times and is trying to avoid it happening again, but that doesn’t make it legal.


Note that I am not a lawyer, but this is based on my reading on the relevant issues.