Employment and lupus
Working when dealing with lupus can be tricky but depending on how severe lupus affects you the answer to this question will depend on your own personal circumstances. We understand that lupus can get in the way of many aspects of day-to-day life. Working with lupus is possible but may require some adjustments.
Having trouble at work, even as far as not being able to work, is a not-uncommon issue that people with lupus face. However, many people with lupus do continue to work.
The key is to understand your limits of what you can and cannot do.
Things to do before applying for a job
We would suggest keeping a diary which will allow you to understand how lupus affects you on a daily basis. Try and record your fatigue levels every day, your pain, and also how well you function each day. This will give you an idea if part-time or full-time work is a possibility for you.
If you find that your symptoms are up and down, and you feel you cannot work outside of your home with specific hours such as 9-5, a remote option with flexible hours might be a good choice for you.
If your symptoms are moderate through to severe, so the ability to do the simplest of activities of daily living are impaired, and you need help, working might be out of the question at the moment.
Finding a job that allows you to manage lupus might not be the easiest thing, but it is possible. There are compassionate and understanding employers out there who are aware of the disease which allows us to ask for reasonable accommodations when working with lupus.
Those already in employment
When it comes to work and lupus, you may be wondering if you should share any health issues with your employer.
First of all, you are not required by law to disclose you have lupus in an interview, when you accept a job or if you are diagnosed with lupus when already employed. However, that there are a few things to consider, such as if lupus will negatively impact upon your job responsibilities from day one, you may want to discuss your health condition with your manager.
If you can, try and communicate with your supervisors, your HR department, or your manager about your difficulties. It can potentially open the door for accommodations. But, we recommend that you know your rights as an employee.
Some of the possible accommodations that could be useful for those with lupus are things such as flexible schedules, remote working, protective equipment, dictation software and screen readers.
With a good employer, the right accommodations and the ideal working environment, you can achieve success.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.