Safety-Sensitive Jobs – Epilepsy Foundation

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Jobs

People with epilepsy are successfully employed in a variety of jobs that might be considered high-risk: police officer, firefighter, welder, butcher, construction worker, etc. Epilepsy is a highly variable disorder and it is difficult to generalize about safety issues. Since the term “epilepsy” refers to a broad range of symptoms and underlying causes, the Epilepsy Foundation advocates individualized determinations when epilepsy appears to be relevant to job hiring and placement decisions. Individual evaluations should take into account the type of job, the required tasks, the degree of seizure control, the type(s) of seizures, whether the person has an aura (warning), the person’s reliability in taking prescribed anticonvulsant medication, any side effects of such medication, and any accommodations which would help the person do the job.

Employers often raise safety concerns and may try to exclude people with epilepsy from jobs involving public safety.

It may be useful to point out to employers that most people with epilepsy can be safely licensed to drive, and the current trend is to require a three-month seizure- free period prior to licensing. Surely, driving is more hazardous than the vast majority of jobs available in the U.S.

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