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Mental Health Issues Create Delicate Workplace Situations


James McDonald was quoted in New Orleans City Business on October 28, 2014. The article “Mental Health Issues Create Delicate Workplace Situations,” discussed the rising concerns of business owners regarding the repercussions of situations that may put their employees or coworkers at risk due to mental health issues.

James explained that it can be particularly challenging for employers to manage mental health issues in the workplace because of the variety of disorders the Americans with Disabilities Act covers.

“The American Psychiatric Association’s classification and diagnostic tool for mental health disorders … is frequently updated, and in some respects it can be hard for HR to keep up,” James said.

“Physical disabilities can be worked around,” James noted. “But when faced with an employee struggling with mental illness who can’t deal with stress, for example, it becomes harder to know how to adjust to that situation.”

Managers dealing with a worker with a mental illness have options to accommodate the situation. James said they could consider adjusting time schedules to compensate for necessary therapy, medical appointments or medication as well as approved leaves of absences.

However, employers don’t have to make adjustments for issues such as erratic attendance, indefinite leaves of absence and disruptive conduct, James added.

To read the full article, please visit New Orleans City Business.


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