Requesting Reasonable Accommodation for a Mental Disability | Mann & Elias
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Requesting Reasonable Accommodation for a Mental Disability


Considered one of the most important and influential pieces of legislation regarding protection against workplace discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has played a major role in helping workers who suffer from various types of mental disabilities the chance to have fulfilling careers. However, many employees still fail to realize how the ADA can help them gain reasonable accommodations on the job to help them deal with various issues such as depression, PTSD, and other related conditions. Yet despite the ADA being federal law applying to employers with at least 15 employees and most states having laws that can apply to businesses with even fewer employees, some businesses still balk when employees make requests for reasonable accommodations. If you are a disabled employee in need of accomodations who feels discriminated against, contact Mann & Elias to speak with an employment attorney in Los Angeles.

Stereotypes and Biases

Even as today’s workforce has become more diverse and issues such as mental health are talked about much more openly than in years past, many employers still have stereotypes and biases regarding mental disability and work. While some employees do not hesitate to make their disabilities known to employers, others often keep their issues private for fear of being fired or denied career opportunities. However, since the ADA and other laws do offer protection in this area, you as an employee have the legal right to request reasonable accommodations on the job to help manage your mental disability. Should you require legal assistance to make this happen, hire a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney from Mann & Elias.

Definition of Mental Disability

To have success in requesting reasonable accommodations on the job for your mental disability, you must be able to prove your disability severely impacts a life activity or bodily function on a daily basis. As for the types of mental disabilities that come under ADA guidelines, the most common include PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. In addition, intellectual disabilities are also protected by the ADA. Since you will need to show the disability significantly impacts your life when left untreated, you will need to have specific evidence to show your employer. To help gather this evidence and give you legal guidance during the process, work with a law firm for disability discrimination.

Employer Limitations

When dealing with this situation, it is important to remember there are employer limitations regarding what they can or cannot ask you about your mental disability. For example, an employer does not have the right to inquire about your mental disabilities or ask that you have a medical examination unless they can prove there is a solid business reason for doing so. These reasons can be that your condition would make it impossible for you to perform basic job duties, put yourself or others at risk of injury, or other similar scenarios. Should you believe your employer is unfairly judging you based on your mental disability, speak to a workplace disability discrimination attorney to find out about your legal options.

Making Your Request

If you feel as if you need your employer to make reasonable accommodations for you on the job due to your mental disability, it is up to you to make the request either verbally or in writing. In almost all instances, it is much better if you put your request in writing, since this will clearly show you have requested your employer’s help with this matter. Since employers are not required to make these accommodations based only on their assumptions from observing your job performance, you as the employee have the responsibility to put this process in motion. However, many employers are hesitant to grant such requests for an employee, fearing that if they do so for one employee others will expect the same treatment. Yet since the law is on your side, do not hesitate to seek reasonable accommodations if needed. Since it is always better to have experienced legal counsel helping you with this matter, hire a Mann & Elias workplace lawyer before moving forward.

Employer Requirements

Once you make a request for reasonable accommodations, do not make the mistake of automatically assuming your employer is required to give you everything exactly as you asked for in your request. While employers are bound by law to follow ADA and state guidelines, they are not required to give you accommodations that would create excessive hardships on their business financially or otherwise. Legally, so long as an employer provides you with accommodations that can be shown to effectively allow you to do your job while successfully managing your disability, they can claim they have met their obligation. Should you feel otherwise, discuss your concerns with a Los Angeles handicap discrimination attorney.

Doctors and Therapists

Since many types of mental disabilities and conditions are not obvious to those around you, it may be a good idea to include a letter from your doctor or therapist when requesting reasonable accommodations from your employer. By having such documentation, it makes it very difficult for your employer to claim you are making up your condition. Yet even when such letters are included with these requests, many employers may still hesitate to do the right thing for an employee. If this describes your situation, never hesitate to consult with an employment attorney in Los Angeles at Mann & Elias.

Denied Requests

Needless to say, many of these requests are initially denied by employers. When this happens, many employees simply give up and continue to struggle in their jobs out of fear of being fired. Rather than let this happen to you, hire an experienced and caring disability discrimination lawyer who will protect your rights. Whether you are a current employee or a well-qualified individual who was denied a job due to a disability, schedule an immediate consultation with attorneys from Mann & Elias.


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