Are Employers Required To Provide Accommodations For Mental Health Issues?
Are Employers Required To Provide Accommodations For Mental Health Issues?

Are Employers Required To Provide Accommodations For Mental Health Issues?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Many employers often think of physical disabilities when it comes to this requirement. However, often employees have mental health conditions that limit their ability to work. 

Like with physical disabilities, the same reasonable accommodations apply to mental health conditions. The employment attorneys at Minnis & Smallets can help you request reasonable accommodation or file a lawsuit if you are retaliated against for requesting a reasonable accommodation. 

What Are Reasonable Accommodations?

The ADA defines reasonable accommodations as adjustments to a workplace that make it possible for disabled employees to perform their job duties. These accommodations may include an altered break or work schedules, a quiet office space, or devices that encourage a quiet work environment for employees with mental health conditions.

Telework may be another reasonable accommodation offered to employees with mental health conditions. The mental health condition that the employee has must limit their ability to work or do any other major life activity. That does not mean that the condition has to be permanent or severe.

But there must be proof that the condition affects your ability to work or perform your job duties. Even if symptoms are sporadic, there must still be difficulty with performing activities while the symptoms are present.

Benefits Of Reasonable Accommodations

Some employers have the wrong attitude regarding providing reasonable accommodations for their employees. They see them as a hindrance when they can improve the workplace.

As an employee with a mental health condition, reasonable accommodations can help you make a better and faster return to the workplace. Providing reasonable accommodations is also a great way to keep productivity high and qualified employees at the workplace.

Even better, adding reasonable accommodations to the workplace may not require much money or time. With proper planning and research, employers can find the right type of technology and devices at a reasonable cost for their employees.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

If you need reasonable accommodations for your mental health condition, you can ask your employer for them. Your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodations for your disability, whether physical or mental.

After you have submitted a request, your employer may ask you to participate in an “interactive process.” This is the step where your employer assesses whether you can continue to perform your job with the accommodation.

Unfortunately, your employer may deny your legitimate request for reasonable accommodations altogether.

Violation Of Disability Rights

If your employer outright denies your request for reasonable accommodations, you may consider filing a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These are government agencies that will investigate discriminatory practices in the workplace. You should contact an employment law attorney before filing a complaint with the CRD or EEOC. 

Contact An Employment Lawyer At Minnis & Smallets Today

At Minnis & Smallets, our employment lawyers have represented employees who have been discriminated against because of their disabilities or requests for reasonable accommodations. Complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today.

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