I had surgery to repair a ruptured disk (L4-L5) in early September. There were other factors involved, but the surgery was the catalyst that made me start looking for another job. The surgeon and physical therapist have said that I’m fully recovered and can lift up to 35 pounds. However, I work in a trade where lifting is required–not heavy lifting, but lifting nonetheless.
My concern is that, if I mention my injury and surgery, employers will not want to hire me, but if I don’t mention it and they find out, they’ll consider that I’ve lied by omission and wonder what else I’ve lied about and won’t want to hire me.
I have been working with a personnel agent, and when I asked her she said that employers are not legally allowed to have that information, so it would create problems for them if I did tell them. She had checked out my references and said that none of them mentioned the surgery and not to worry about it.
Still, should I be worried? Obviously I can tell my references not to mention it, but is there any kind of background check an employer could run that would disclose it? Is it ethical not to mention it? Would employers not hire me because of my surgery, even though I’m able to do everything I need to to do my job?