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Your Rights as an Employee


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in all employment practices against qualified individuals with disabilities (defined as a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that s/he holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation). Under the ADA, employers are not permitted to ask you if you have a disability or the nature of any disability, and you are not obligated to disclose your bleeding disorder unless it directly affects your job performance. Disclosing your bleeding disorder–related disability will qualify you for reasonable accommodations to allow you to continue working even during a severe bleed or other health issue. You are in control of the information, so use that control wisely.

Here are some considerations when deciding whether or not to disclose your bleeding disorder:

  • How visible is your disability due to your bleeding disorder? If you use crutches or a wheelchair regularly or will need to use them during a job interview, you may want to disclose some portion of your disability, focusing on your skills in managing your bleeding disorder and its side effects.
  • Will you need accommodations because of your disability? For example, will you need to telecommute during bleeds or when dealing with other medical/treatment situations in order to be effective in the workplace?
  • Does your bleeding disorder affect your ability to perform your job? For example, will you be unable to perform job functions adequately because you have a bleeding disorder.
To learn more about disclosure and the workplace, click here.

Your bleeding disorder should not hold you back from achieving success at work. Think about what accommodations you might need and ask for them. Knowing what accommodations have worked for you in the past—either in other jobs or at school—will help you find common ground with your employer so you can meet your mutual goal of developing a successful working relationship.

For more tips on disclosure and the workplace, go to Disclosing Your Disability to an Employer.

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If you find it hard to work in your current job with your bleeding disorder and you know there’s a way for you to accomplish the work with a few changes to your workplace environment, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act can help.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If your health deteriorates to the point where you are having difficulty in your current work environment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not only protects you from being fired or laid off, it mandates that reasonable accommodations be put in place for any known disability. Your employer is required under the law to provide all accommodations that are reasonable so you can continue to perform your work duties.

Here are some accommodations that may be helpful:

  • Reduced hours
  • Flexible schedules to accommodate the need for infusions or medical appointments
  • Telecommuting
  • Allowance of unpaid leave if you exhaust your accrued sick or vacation time
  • Switching to a different job that’s easier on your joints
  • A parking space closer to the office
  • Installation of automatic door openers
  • Accessible restrooms and break rooms
  • Adjustable-height desks for people using wheelchairs
  • Moving your work station closer to restrooms, break rooms, or work areas

The ADA also encourages employers to create a plan of action in case of bleeds. This can include educating other employees about the signs of a bleed and having a place to store factor on site should you have a bleed at the workplace. You may want to provide your office with a letter describing your bleeding disorder and how to deal with it in case of an urgent situation that requires a trip to the emergency room.

To learn more about this law, go to ADA.

Bleeding Disorders in the Workplace: What Employees Should Know About Rights and Accommodations 


Here is a video resource that you can share with your employers to help educate them about bleeding disorders, and to help reassure them that having a bleeding disorder does not make you incapable of doing your job!

Bleeding Disorders in the Workplace: What Employers Should Know

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Family and Medical Leave Act

If you can work a reduced schedule, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for 12 work weeks of leave in a 12-month period for employees with a serious health condition that renders them unable to perform the essential functions of the job. If you know you’ll need intermittent leave because of your bleeding disorder, you should work with your employer to ensure you can take the leave in a way that does not interfere with the functioning of the company.

To learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act, go to FMLA.

Job Accommodation Network

Another resource that focuses on employee rights is the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), which assists both employees and employers with guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. For employees, JAN can help with specific workplace issues and offer advice on self-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. For employers, JAN demonstrates how people with disabilities can add talent and value to their business enterprises.

To learn more about how JAN may be able to help you, go to Job Accommodation Network.

For a brochure to introduce your employer to JAN, go to Disorders.