Mental illness disability discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2018 | Disability Discrimination |

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD seem to be increasing each year. Many potential employees will fail to even apply for a job because they fear being immediately turned down due to these types of conditions. What they fail to realize is that mental health conditions are covered under the same legal protections as physical health conditions. As such, it is the sole decision of a job applicant whether or not to disclose this information in a job interview, or at any time thereafter unless required for accommodations or benefit eligibility.

While employers may assess the skills and potential of job applicants, under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act they cannot fail to make a job offer, harass, or terminate an employee due to a mental health condition.

Further, employers must offer reasonable accommodations to parties suffering from mental illness in order to allow a job to be performed. If an applicant is able to perform the job without safety concerns or similar issues, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse hiring on the basis of mental illness. Reasonable accommodations can include modified schedules, separate or quieter work spaces, or reassigning the employee to another position.

Any employee or potential employee who believes they have been discriminated against or harassed can benefit from consulting with an employment law attorney. In particular, if proper reporting procedures have taken place, and no resolution of an issue has been reached or addressed, an attorney can be a powerful ally to restoring peace on the job.