What to know about disclosing mental illness

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2019 | Americans With Disabilities Act |

Roughly 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability. According to the American Health Association, approximately 75 percent of employees throughout the country have a mental health issue. However, some Texas workers may choose not to disclose their illnesses because they fear negative consequences for doing so. The downside to not disclosing a mental illness could be the impact it has on an individual’s overall health.

The Americans with Disabilities Act generally requires employers to provide their disabled workers with reasonable accommodations. Therefore, disclosing a mental illness may make it possible to get the accommodations needed to do a job properly. Ideally, employers will do their part to make workers feel comfortable about disclosing their mental illness. By creating an inclusive environment for all workers, everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This may allow a company to reach its full potential as well.

According to the World Health Organization, companies around the world lose about $1 trillion in lost productivity. Therefore, being supportive of workers who have a mental illness may help to pare those losses. It should be noted that the decision to disclose rests solely on the employee. The employee also should be given full control over how to disclose a mental illness or how to ask for accommodations.

Those who face discrimination because of a physical or mental disability may have grounds for legal action against an employer. An employee may be able to pursue back pay and other compensation if he or she is wrongfully terminated. An attorney may help an employee pursue damages either in court or through a settlement. Statements by managers, personnel records or other evidence may be used to show that discrimination was the reason for an employee’s wrongful dismissal.


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