Employing and accommodating workers with psychiatric disabilities

The following topics are addressed: (1) what is meant by a psychiatric disability under the ADA, its severity, and its effect on the employment of the individual; (2) popular misconceptions about people with psychiatric disabilities, including: such disabilities are uncommon; mental illness is the same as mental retardation; likely to be violent; there is no hope of recovery; and people with psychiatric disabilities can't tolerate job stress; (3) legal limitations on determining if a worker has a psychiatric disability; (4) how psychiatric disabilities may affect an individual's work performance; and (5) examples of accommodations for workers with psychiatric disabilities (such as clearly delineated performance expectations and schedules that incorporate flex-time).

A listing of 12 sources of additional information is provided.

ADA coverage is limited to individuals with "physical or mental impairments" that "substantially limit one or more major life activities." The ADA also protects from discrimination individuals with a record of a disability and individuals regarded as having a disability.

Thus individuals who do not currently have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities would still fall within the scope of ADA coverage if a covered entity discriminates against them based on a record of a disability or if they are regarded as being disabled.

Some people are surprised to learn that the ADA covers individuals with psychiatric, as well as physical, disabilities.

This is consistent with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the federal nondiscrimination statute which preceded the ADA.

(H) "Department" means the department of health of the state of Ohio.

Employing and Accommodating Workers with Psychiatric Disabilities.

(Originally written in 1994, and updated in 2000 by L.

This brief paper summarizes requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 related to employing and accommodating workers with psychiatric disabilities.

(F) "Chemical restraint" means any medication bearing the American hospital formulary service therapeutic class 4.00, , , or that alters the functioning of the central nervous system in a manner that limits physical and cognitive functioning to the degree that the resident cannot attain his highest practicable physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being.

(G) "Complex therapeutic diet" means a calculated nutritive regime including, but not limited to:(1) Diabetic and other nutritive regimens requiring a daily specific kilocalorie level; (2) Renal nutritive regimens; (3) Dysphagia nutritive regimens excluding simple textural modifications; or (4) Any other nutritive regimen requiring a daily minimum or maximum level of one or more specific nutrients or a specific distribution of one or more nutrients.

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