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HR Support for Employees With Psychological Disorders

Editor's Note: Handle employee psychological issues with care.

Melissa BoyceOverview: As with any other health concern that affects the workplace, employers need to be aware of how to handle employee mental health concerns. There are many things that need to be taken into account before taking action.

One of the best ways to help employees who are suffering from a mental health issue is to offer an employee assistance program (EAP). Through such a program, employees can receive counseling for their mental health problems that could be affecting their work and personal life.

An employer must take care not to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or equivalent state law when dealing with an employee with a mental disability. While employers do not need to allow violent behavior, for example, they do need to understand whether and how the ADA affects the situation. Before firing an employee due to behavior resulting from a psychological disorder, employers should first look at ADA guidance and see what they can or cannot do.

Trends: Depression and suicide have historically been significantly higher around the holidays. To help counteract this, employers may want to send information about their EAP around this time of year.

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor

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