Dear Littler: We have an employee who is exhibiting signs of dementia or some other sort of cognitive impairment. He has fallen asleep at work a few times recently and seems confused by tasks that did not pose any problem for him in the past. His performance was solid for years but started declining in the past several months, along with his attention to detail. How do we handle our concerns about his well-being and performance? Should we ask him what’s going on with his health?
Articles Discussing Mental Disabilities Under the ADA.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, one in five US adults experiences mental illness in a given year. In a recent article authored by PL Matters contributor Dove A.E. Burns, the “prevalence of these disorders has a significant impact upon the workplace and upon employers and their accommodation policies and procedures.” The New York Law Journal article evaluates the EEOC’s publication titled “Depression, PTSD & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights.” The article also considers what the EEOC’s guidance means for employers navigating the ADA landscape.
On December 12, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a resource document titled, “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,” which summarizes the rights of individuals with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The resource document, drafted in a basic Q&A format, addresses workers’ rights to protection against discrimination and harassment because of mental health conditions, privacy regarding mental health information, and reasonable accommodation in the performance of job functions.
Executive Summary: On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a user-friendly resource document aimed at informing applicants and employees with mental health conditions about their workplace rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The publication also addresses circumstances regarding workplace privacy rights, such as confidentiality of medical information, and the process for requesting and documenting the need for a reasonable accommodation relating to a mental health condition.
In continuation of its series of “resource” documents which provide guidance to individuals with medical conditions or work restrictions, on December 12, 2016, the EEOC issued a “resource” document titled “Depression, PTSD, and Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights” which is intended to provide guidance on workplace rights for individuals with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
The intentional crash of Germanwings flight 9525 by an apparently mentally ill pilot into the French Alps this March shocked and distressed not just the millions of people who fly each day, but also the millions of responsible employers who strive to provide safe workplaces for their employees. In “Mental Health Issues in the Workplace – A Global Perspective,” FordHarrison partner Sarah Pierce Wimberly discusses the difficulties involved in monitoring employees’ mental health while balancing the compelling, but competing, duties to provide a safe workplace and protect employee confidentiality. For multinational employers, these difficulties are compounded by differing laws in the jurisdictions in which they do business. The article compares the obligations imposed by U.S. law to those imposed by laws in the U.K. and Germany, incorporating insight from Ius Laboris member firms in those countries. The article was published by Corporate Counsel magazine and is available on the In Depth Analysis page of the FordHarrison website.