Even if an employee does not have a recognized developmental disability under the ADA, there are other legal considerations that an employer may want to assess, such as possible claims under the FMLA. As an employer, it is important to recognize the various impacts of COVID-19 on employees` mental well-being. In addition to anticipated distress related to illness, loneliness, grief and general disruptions to daily life, some work-specific stressors may include: If an employee raises concerns related to the treatment of a mental health issue in the workplace, consider discussing them with legal counsel to determine the best course of action. To ensure that these rights are respected and protected, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) publishes guidelines and references to help workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities. Late last year, the EEOC published an online publication titled «Depression, PTSD, and Other Mental Health Issues in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,» in response to the growing prevalence of disability discrimination in the workplace related to mental health issues. Some of the main points of the publication are discussed below. Fact: Mental illness is a brain disorder. They are not caused by a defective personality or poor education. Determining whether a mental health condition is an ADA-covered disability may require a thorough factual and legal analysis. For example, does mental impairment significantly limit an important life activity? Can the employee perform the essential functions of the job? Does the employee experience specific work-related stress or other invisible challenges? Management may seek recommendations from the affinity group to facilitate discussions on ways to support employees with disabilities. By recognizing and considering these different perspectives, employers can experience a cultural shift in the workplace that minimizes the stigma and stigma associated with physical and mental disabilities. Discover other resources to help you foster a mentally healthy work culture, whether you are an employer, individual, service provider, policy maker, or teen or young adult. «Employees who don`t feel well are more likely to get sick and have a drop in productivity.
Absences are a persistent consequence of burnout caused by stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, there has also been an increase in the number of workers who are parents or caregivers who have had to take time off work to treat their child`s mental health issues,» Litzinger noted. Employees are more likely to stay in their jobs if they receive personalized and confidential mental health benefits,» Burgo said. «Employers should think about their employees` mental safety as well as their physical safety. The U.S. bailout, passed during President Joe Biden`s administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, includes funding for mental health care support programs, with recent funding specifically addressing the mental health and well-being of health care workers.  If you feel discriminated against because you live with a mental illness, there are a variety of legal options: Watch the recording of the DOL`s virtual event in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month 2022. The event highlights the ministry`s commitment to promoting equitable and inclusive mental health workplaces. With insightful dialogues and knowledge sharing among key DOL leaders, the event explores parity in mental health, the role of the workplace in addressing the country`s mental health crisis, and strategies to promote work environments to support workers with mental illness. If you suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or any other mental illness, your condition protects you from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, you have the right to privacy in the workplace, and you may be entitled to reasonable accommodations that can help you manage and maintain your job. The following questions and answers briefly explain these rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
You may also have additional rights under other laws not discussed here, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and various health insurance laws. The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits discrimination, retaliation, or harassment of a qualified person on the basis of disability in hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, training, and other conditions, conditions, and privileges of employment.  The ADA also requires employers to provide qualified individuals with reasonable accommodations for their disability. In general, it is a mistake for employers to ignore or avoid the topic of mental health.