Young Workers Seek Mental Health Accommodations, Employers Try to Keep Up
February 12, 2020
Managers and younger employees are struggling to adapt as a generation of people with higher rates of reported mental illness enter the workforce.
“Historically, undue hardships focused on money,” said Domenique Camacho Moran, head of the labor and employment practice at law firm Farrell Fritz PC. A person with back problems might ask for a special chair, for instance, and their employer could deny it if the chair cost $7,000. Today, she said, “it’s less about a specific product and much more about a change in the work itself: the way it’s done, when it’s done, where it’s done.”
Companies are seeing more requests to work from home, have flexible schedules or take unpaid leaves of absence, she said. Sometimes employees choose not to disclose their conditions, or not to ask for accommodations, for fear of being stigmatized or penalized, which can create problems if their work begins to suffer, she said.
“You can end up in a scenario where someone is about to get fired and it turns out there was a really simple fix and it never came up,” Ms. Moran said. “The employee never raised concerns and suddenly it’s the eleventh hour.”
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