Understanding your rights as an employee with a mental health condition is crucial to protecting you from unfair and discriminatory practices, establishing a safe working environment and promoting your overall well-being.
Some of these rights include the following:
FMLA Leave benefits
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees can avail of up to 12 weeks of job-protected leaves for serious mental health condition, as long as the FMLA covers their employers. An employee’s condition qualifies for this leave if it renders them unable to perform their duties, recurs over an extended period and requires professional treatment at least twice a year.
Protection against discrimination and harassment
Federal and state laws protect employees with mental health conditions against discrimination and harassment related to their condition. For instance, employers cannot terminate, demote or refuse promotion and benefits to an employee because of their mental health condition. Moreover, it is illegal for any person in the workplace to harass and create a hostile or offensive work environment for an employee with a mental health disability.
Employees with mental health disabilities have a legal right to reasonable accommodations for them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Some examples of these adjustments include flexible workplace and schedule, frequent breaks and other reasonable policies their employers can apply to help them concentrate and fulfill their jobs.
These are only some of the rights employees with mental health conditions are entitled to. It is essential to understand and assert these rights to foster a safe, supportive and inclusive work environment. If you are unsure about your rights as an employee, seeking professional advice may help you find clarity.