8 Mental Health Workplace Accommodation Issues

December 14, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Federal law provides an array of protections for employees with various disabilities, including mental health issues. These protections can include the provision of alternate work arrangements.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a publication available online, “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights.” It offers a series of questions asked by employees or applicants, but the answers could be helpful to any prospective employer. For example:

  • Is my employer allowed to fire me because I have a mental health condition? Answer: No. It is illegal to discriminate simply because of a mental health condition.
  • Am I allowed to keep my condition private? A: In most cases, yes, but an employer is allowed to ask medical questions in certain cases.
  • What if my mental health condition could affect my job performance? A: An employee might have a legal right to reasonable accommodation.
  • How can I get a reasonable accommodation? A: Ask for one.
  • What will happen after I ask for a reasonable accommodation? A: The employer could ask for written documentation.
  • What is there’s no way I can do my job, even with accommodation? A: The employee might be entitled to unpaid leave to get to the point where the job can be performed.
  • What if I am being harassed because of my condition? A: The employee should report the harassment, and the employer should follow its reporting procedures.
  • What should I do if I think my rights have been violated? A: Contact the EEOC.
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