If an employer asks an employee or prospective employee to fill out and sign a health declaration form (very common in the medical field) like this.

If the employee is afraid that revealing their health condition will subject them to discrimination or breach of privacy, may they conceal their condition?

For example, Alex is being employed by Hospital X to work in their kitchen. Alex suffers from Bipolar disorder but is currently fully capable of work. Prior to beginning work, Alex is given a health intake form. May he fill out X to indicate that he has no conditions if he is afraid of the negative consequences that may result in disclosure?

I am not asking if it is legal for the employer to give such a form. I am only asking about the employee filling out the form whether it is legal or not. Protesting or calling discrimination is often not effective in this case.

1 Answer 1


It is not legal to give false responses on such a declaration. The point of anti-discrimination laws is that they say when it is legal vs. not legal to discriminate against an employee, and Alex is expected to have faith in the legal system to protect his legal rights. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the law may be understandable, but still does not legally justify falsifying information given to an employer. In certain cases (look for the fine print and mentions of "penalty of perjury") you can be fined and imprisoned for lying. More commonly, your employment can be terminated when you are discovered. You may also be held liable for consequences of such lies. Your employer's health insurance contract might require truthful and accurate reporting of medical facts and a lie about your condition could result in termination of coverage.

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