When a person is struggling with a mental health issue, whether that concern is related to anxiety, depression, PTSD, or something else, they may not feel confident sharing that information with their supervisor. And if a person wants to use their right to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to treat a mental health concern, they could be unsure where to turn.
If you are an Ohio employee who is struggling with a mental health issue, know that you do have employee rights and there are ways to protect yourself and seek help. Talk to a Columbus employment attorney about your situation.
Reasons Employees Hesitate to Share Issues with Employers
There are stigmas surrounding mental health problems. This is one of the reasons that employees may not want to share their issues with their employers, they may fear they will be thought of as weak or irresponsible. While this is not based in fact, it is true that employers have discriminated against employees with mental health issues. There have been complaints about this filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
But if an employee wants to use their right to leave, they may have to share information about their personal situation. It is possible to use the Family and Medical Leave Act to secure the time needed to treat anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental health concerns.
Also, there may be a time when an employee would like to request work accommodations because of an issue. Which could include one or all of the following:
- Attendance modifications
- Minimization of unnecessary distractions
- Use of memory aids
- Maintaining a specific organization system
Whether your employer will agree to accommodations depends on your unique circumstances. However, employees have a right to a reasonable accommodation provided that they meet certain criteria. You can discuss your rights with a Columbus employment attorney to learn more.
It is the responsibility of an employer to keep medical documentation confidential, but when an employee does not trust their supervisor, they may be concerned the information will not remain private after it is shared.
An Employment Lawyer Can Help
Mental health issues are a common concern for many in the U.S. According to one report, 1 in 5 will experience a mental health issue each year in America. If you need help, get the assistance you need to live a healthy life.
If you need to ask for leave, determine who is the best person to talk to at the organization. This could be a human resource employee you trust or a supervisor. Have the discussion at an appropriate time, when nobody is in a rush, and give them the information needed. You don’t have to share more than necessary. If you are requesting leave, for example, simply share the medical form required.
Do you feel your Ohio employer discriminated against you because of your request for mental health accommodations? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.