As an employee, you have rights when it comes to your mental health and ability to perform your job responsibilities. Roughly 1 in 4 adults deal with a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year, and it’s vital for those people to recognize how to navigate their rights at work.
When your mental health condition causes you to struggle, you need to understand what you can do to better your situation. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain how you can protect yourself from the issues that may arise because of an employer.
Below, we will discuss the following:
- Your rights when it comes to your mental health and work
- Your rights to seek reasonable accommodations
- How you can discuss your mental health condition at work
Your Rights When It Comes to Your Mental Health and Work
Since the pandemic, work conditions have changed. More people are working at home, but several people have witnessed an increase in anxiety and mental health conditions. People worry about their jobs and how their mental health condition can impact their employment. However, you have specific rights as an employee, including the following:
- Your employer or co-workers cannot harass or discriminate against you because of your mental health condition.
- You have the right to protect your privacy, and in many situations, you won’t be required to tell your work about any mental or physical health conditions you have.
- You can request a reasonable accommodation if necessary.
Your Rights to Seek Reasonable Accommodations
Your mental health matters. As an employee, you can request a workplace accommodation as long as it is reasonable and helps you complete your daily work responsibilities. The accommodations that you can request include a personal office space, work-from-home possibilities, and potentially longer breaks.
In most situations, your employer will provide you with those reasonable accommodations, but it must improve your ability to work when dealing with a mental health condition. If it negatively impacts your work capabilities, your employer may not grant you these accommodations.
Other work accommodations can include:
- A personalized work schedule
- Participating in Zoom meetings without a camera
- Adjusting job responsibilities
To request a reasonable accommodation, you may need to tell your employer the reason, which is your mental health condition.
How You Can Discuss Your Mental Health Condition At Work
Your mental health should remain a top priority of yours, even when it comes to working. Discussing your condition with your employer or co-workers can seem difficult. However, you have the right to privacy. If you do decide to speak with others in the workplace about your mental health conditions, here are some tips that you can follow:
- Determine what you want from your discussion (e.g., do you want support or accommodations?).
- Discuss your mental health with your company’s human resources department if the company doesn’t seem as supportive as you need.
- Start off with an email or casual conversation and let your employer know you would like to discuss your conditions in confidence.
- If you need to provide documentation, such as a diagnosis, make sure you have this readily available for your employer.
Discussing your mental health is never easy. Taking steps to improve your workplace conditions can be a huge improvement. However, if your employer or co-workers attempt to harass or discriminate against you because of your mental health condition, know that you have legal rights.
Our Los Angeles employment law lawyers at Barkhordarian Law Firm are prepared to stand in your corner and fight for your rights. We put your best interests first, giving you a voice when you need it the most. Trust our team to be your advocates so that you can focus on your life and mental health while we manage the legal aspects of your situation.