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THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT Orientation to Topic 1 Purpose of Study 1 2 EEOC GUIDELINES ON PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES 4 Mental Impairments Under the ADA 4 Substantial Impairment 5 Disclosure of Mental Disability 7 Requesting Reasonable Accommodations 8 Selected Types of Reasonable Accommodation 10 Direct Threat Exception 13 Alleged discrimination against employees with psychiatric problems is the second most common type of Americans With Disabilities Act ADA claim filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC These complaints represent approximately 13 percent of the ADA charges filed with the agency back pain discrimination complaints rank number one 11 Many human resource managers have experience developing accommodations for employees with physical disabilities under the ADA however human resource professionals have had limited experience with the needs of those with mental or psychiatric disabilities The return of employees to work after they have had psychiatric treatments can be one of the most difficult assignments faced by an HR manager due to the stigma attached to mental illness 21 HR managers should familiarize themselves with the many legal obligations involved in accommodating an employee with a mental impairment The purpose of this study is to provide basic information relating to the ADA and psychiatric disabilitiesLegal Obligation Accommodation and Confidentiality For employers it is a difficult task to distinguish between troublesome employees exhibiting misconduct and an employee suffering from a true psychiatric disability protected by
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