Pillar 2: Provide ACCOMMODATIONS to Employees
A variety of tools and resources exist to help employers support and accommodate their employees with mental health conditions.
The essence of the guidance in this pillar focuses on assisting employers in providing employees with reasonable accommodations and other workplace supports—in other words, adjustments or modifications that enable people with disabilities, including mental health conditions, to perform the essential functions of a job efficiently and productively.
A variety of tools and resources exist to help employers support and accommodate their employees with mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
Resources to Help Employers Support and Accommodate Employees with Mental Health Conditions
- The Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) Accommodating Employees with Mental Health Impairments toolkit shares information and tips on how to support people with mental health conditions at work. JAN explains that people with mental health conditions may develop some of the limitations discussed in the toolkit, but seldom develop all of them. What’s important is to consider whether/how those limitations affect the employee and their job performance. The toolkit includes example situations and solutions and links to publications, articles and external resources.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy's (ODEP) “Accommodations for Employees with Psychiatric Disabilities” webpage offers general background and sample workplace modifications. It also outlines several possibilities for accommodations that have proved effective in helping employees with psychiatric disabilities more effectively perform their jobs, including:
- Flexible workplaces: Offering options for telecommuting and/or working from home.
- Scheduling: Offering part-time work hours, job sharing, adjustments in the start or end of work hours, compensation time and/or “make up” of missed time.
- Leave: Allowing sick leave for mental health reasons, flexible use of vacation time, additional unpaid or administrative leave for treatment or recovery, leaves of absence and/or use of occasional leave (a few hours at a time) for therapy and other related appointments.
- Breaks: Allowing breaks according to individual needs rather than a fixed schedule, allowing more frequent breaks and/or greater flexibility in scheduling breaks, providing backup coverage during breaks, providing telephone breaks during work hours to call center professionals, etc.
- Other policies: Allowing beverages and/or food at workstations, if necessary, to mitigate the side effects of medications, providing on-site job coaches. etc.
Resources to Help Employers Support and Accommodate Employees with Substance Use Disorders
- Accommodating Workers with a History of Substance Abuse (Society for Human Resource Management)
- JAN Accommodation and Compliance Series: Alcoholism
- JAN Accommodation and Compliance Series: Drug Addiction
- JAN Video: Performance and Conduct Management of an Employee with Opioid Addiction
Explore the next Pillar: Offer Employee ASSISTANCE.