What Should I Say About My Mental Health Condition at Massachusetts Workplace?
Every Massachusetts adult with a mental health condition will face the decision of whether or not to tell others about, or “disclose” their condition at work. Typically the reason for disclosure is to ask for an accommodation in order to perform better at your present job. An accommodation is modifying a job, the job site, or the way things are done in order to enable a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity for employment.1 The following information can provide some guidance in helping you make an informed decision.
Some Reasons to Disclose Having a Mental Health Condition on the Job:
- To obtain protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Required in order to request job accommodations
- To serve as a role model and educate others
- Reduces stigma
- Relieves the stress some may feel about “hiding” a disability
- Makes employers better able to respond to sudden symptoms or hospitalizations
- Disclosure to a supervisor is kept confidential by law
Some Reasons Not to Disclose Having a Mental Health Condition on the Job:
- There is no need for accommodations
- Hiring or promotion chances may be negatively affected due to stigma
- To protect your privacy
- Fear of:
–Negative employer or coworker reactions to you or your work
–People not respecting your privacy and confidentiality (others in community/workplace will be told)
–Being held to a different standard, i.e., less will be expected of you employment.
Employers, no matter how large, have an obligation under the law to evaluate the individual circumstances of employees with disabilities when considering requests for reasonable accommodations.
Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation to determine whether you have a disability discrimination case against your employer.