As the stigma of mental illness lessens, employers are handling more frequent requests for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Because serious physical impairments are often easier to identify and accommodate, learning to handle the gray areas of mental disorders as they relate to the ADA can be a challenge for employers.
As defined by the ADA, a qualifying disability is “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual.” 42 U.S.C. 12102(2)(B), (C). The ADA regulations define disabilities broadly, including a specific reference to “neurological systems, mental or psychological disorders.” (29 C.F.R �1630.2 (h).)
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