Are Workers with Mental Illnesses Treated Unfairly by Employers?

Workers with mental illnesses may be reluctant to be upfront with their employers or colleagues. This is because workers with mental illnesses are more likely to be excluded socially, passed up for promotions and assignments, or even fired. In some cases, this may be considered disability discrimination.

The problem is that employees with mental illnesses have to be able to disclose their condition in some cases. Some mental illnesses may require special accommodations, such as time to make appointments with doctors. In other cases, employees might be unable to come into work on some days.

Mental Health and Workplace Disability Discrimination

Despite workers with mental illnesses having legal protections, employers have still run afoul of the law.

An article in the San Jose Mercury News interviewed several people who faced unfair treatment from current and potential employers. One person interviewed for the article claimed visits to her therapist led to her being fired. Other people interviewed claimed disclosing mental illnesses cost them promotions and jobs.

Mental illnesses can be like any other health condition, and many require workers to seek treatment or time away from work. Depending on the circumstances, if employers treat workers with mental illnesses differently, they be running afoul of California and federal laws.

Are Mental Illnesses Considered a Disability?

Some workers with mental illnesses may qualify as disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) offer protections for disabled employees with mental illnesses.

Workers with mental illnesses who have faced wrongful termination, workplace harassment, or other negative actions from their employers should consult with an attorney to explore possible legal options.

The Los Angeles disability rights attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help review your case to determine if action can be taken against an employer.

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