The Integrity News
Vol. X No. 13
June 13, 2001
Wall Street Journal (pgs B1, B6)
"In a typical office of 20 people, chances are that four will suffer
from a mental illness this year"
"Depression, one of the most common,
primarily hits workers in their most
productive years: the 20s through 40s.
Its annual toll on U.S. businesses amounts
to about $70 Billion in medical expenditures,
lost productivity, and other costs."
And yet most employers don't have a clue.
However, they are concerned about their
ever-rising medical bills for employees.
Few companies know the true cost of
depression to their business, because many
of the indirect costs such as reduced
productivity and related illnesses like
alcoholism aren't readily apparent.
People with mental or emotional problems
tend to hide their conditions for fear of
stigmatizing their careers.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
helps protect workers with mental illness
from employment discrimination. Some
rights and responsibilities under the Act:
EMPLOYEES with a psychiatric disability:
o Qualify for protection under the Act
only if their disability substantially limits
a major life activity, such as sleeping or
interacting with others.
o Must disclose their disability to their
employer to be eligible for protection
under the Act.
o Can request reasonable accommodations,
such as flexible work schedules, adjustments
to their physical workplace, and adjustments
to supervisory methods.
o Can file a lawsuit or charges with State
or Federal agencies if they feel their rights
are being violated.
o Can't ask a job applicant about any
mental disabilities before making a job
o Can require a pre-employment medical
examination or inquiry after making a
job offer, as long as it is required of all
o Can request an employee who is seeking
accommodations to provide medical
documentation of the disability.
o Must keep all information concerning
an employee's psychiatric condition or
history confidential; the information must
be kept separately from personnel records.