In the last few years, mental health has become a big part of the national conversation around wellness. When it comes to employment law, employers need know that employees with mental health conditions receive protection under the American Disabilities Act, and state human rights laws. That means employers cannot discriminate against hiring someone or promoting someone solely because of their mental health condition. Nor can you fire someone on that basis. Employers also need to foster a culture where harassment about a physical or mental health condition is unacceptable.
Employers also have an obligation to make accommodations for the needs of employees with a disability, if the accommodation does not constitute an undue hardship and it will allow the employee to continue to meet the essential functions of the job.
Some examples of reasonable accommodations for employees with mental health conditions include the following:
- Allowing employees to work remotely
- Allowing employees more flexibility with their work and break schedule
- Giving employees a temporary reduced workload or a change in assignments
- Giving employees a more private workspace
- Changing how a supervisor communicates with an employee. This can include giving more written instructions and feedback, to avoid any verbal communication heightening an employee’s mental health condition.
Offering your employees with health conditions the support they need will make their experience better. It will show them your organization cares about its employees, which likely will make them more dedicated and engaged. That benefit everyone: you, your employees and your customers and clients.
If you need guidance on what qualifies as a reasonable accommodation and what may not, you can always seek out the experienced employment law attorneys at Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.
Established more than 95 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at Quinlivan.com.