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Employment discrimination due to mental illness

Roughly one in every five adults in Florida and the rest of the United States experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. This is according to information from the National Alliance on Mental Health.

Any number of events can occur in an individual's life and contribute to anxiety, depression, PTSD or some other mental illness. Grieving the loss of a loved one, trauma, divorce and experiences in the military are some examples of events that can act as stressors and impair an individual's mental health. For people who are suffering from some form of mental illness and who are part of the workforce or potential hires, it may be necessary for them to speak with someone in their human resources department and inquire about a reasonable accommodation for the workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines a reasonable accommodation as some form of change in certain aspects of work. For example, workers with mental illness may request quiet office space, specific shift assignments, devices that can be used to create a quiet workplace, different work and break scheduling and changes in supervisory techniques.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it illegal for local governments, state governments, employment agencies, labor unions and private employers to engage in discriminatory behavior against individuals who are qualified and also disabled. The entities are prohibited from discriminating with regard to job application processes, job training, hiring, advancement, compensation and other aspects of employment.

An attorney who practices employment law may assist clients in Boca Raton who have been victims of employment discrimination because of their disability. The attorney may file suits against negligent employers who violated the applicable provisions of the ADA by failing to provide to their disabled employees reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

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