When your health costs you your job

By Nicholas C. Zakas

My last day at Box was April 12, 2016. The day came and went quietly. No mass email saying goodbye, no celebration for a new chapter of my life. I had already sent out a few personal goodbye emails four weeks earlier, and I’m sure there were some who only discovered I had left due to an email bounce. This was the sad yet seemingly inevitable conclusion of the past couple years of my battle with Lyme disease.

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When I joined Box in February of 2013, I was struggling with my health. I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Lyme disease and was still going from doctor to doctor looking for an answer. Wanting to be upfront, I did what most would consider irrationally stupid: I told Box up front that I was having these health issues and that it wasn’t unreasonable to expect that, at some point, I might need extended time off to address them. Being completely honest is just the way I like to do business and while this information cannot legally be requested or considered by an employer during an interview in the United States, I’ve always believed that forming good working relationships requires this level of trust. And as a testament to the folks at Box, the few people I shared this information with (my would-be manager and my VP) assured me not to worry about it, that we could address anything that came up.

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When your health costs you your job

My last day at Box was April 12, 2016. The day came and went quietly. No mass email saying goodbye, no celebration for a new chapter of my life.