Dismissal for Mental Health Issues
Dealing with depression or any other mental health issue can be deeply challenging. Mental health issues affect people from all different backgrounds. If you are dealing with any type of mental health issue, it may adversely affect your professional life.
This raises some important questions: Can I be fired for having depression? If I disclose my mental health issues to my employer, can they take action against me? Do mental health issues qualify for disability protection? In this post, our top-rated Pennsylvania disability discrimination attorneys highlight important issues workers need to know about mental health issues and disability protection.
Mental Health Issues and Disability Protection
As a starting point, workers need to know whether or not their specific mental health condition actually qualifies for job-related disability protection. While this is a complicated question that must always be assessed on a case-by-case basis, many mental health issues do indeed qualify for disability protection.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the term disability applies when a person has an impairment that substantially affects certain major life activities. The term is not merely restricted to purely physical disability. Mental health conditions, potentially including depression, can qualify.
Of course, if a dispute over disability protection arises, an employee may need to produce medical documentation to support their claim. Still, the ADA prohibits covered employers from punishing workers because of their disability.
Mental Health Issues: Reasonable Accommodations
Under state and federal regulations, including the ADA, covered employers are prohibited from discriminating against disabled workers. Beyond that, employers should make a proactive effort to offer disabled workers an effective, reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is an assistance or a change that an employer can make to give a disabled worker the access or help that they need to do their job.
You May Have a Wrongful Termination Claim
If you were dismissed for mental health issues, you may have a wrongful termination claim on the grounds of unlawful disability discrimination. Employers that are covered by the ADA or similar state statutes cannot terminate workers because they have a mental health-related disability.
If the employee’s position can be adjusted in a manner that helps the disabled employee perform it, without imposing an undue hardship on the employer then the company has the duty to make such a change.
If you believe that you were unlawfully dismissed due to a mental health issue, your legal rights may have been violated. You should consult with an experienced disability discrimination lawyer immediately.
Were Your Improperly Dismissed for Depression or Other Mental Health Issues?
At Console Mattiacci Law, our top-rated employment law attorneys have extensive experience handling the full range of disability discrimination cases. If you or your family member was improperly dismissed for a mental health issue, you need strong legal representation. To set up a strictly confidential initial consultation, please contact our legal team today.