I feel I am being discriminated against by my employer because of my mental illness. What are my rights?
If you feel that you have been discriminated against in the workplace because you live with a mental health condition, or you have been denied an opportunity because of your condition, there are a variety of legal options you may wish to pursue:
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals who are treated unfairly in a work setting due to their mental health condition. To learn more about your rights, call the ADA InfoLine at (800) 514-0301. The Information Line can provide you with information about your rights in the workplace and what you can do if your rights are being violated. They also offer helpful guides and information on their website.
Additionally, the Job Accommodation Network provides employment-related ADA info, workplace accommodations database and FAQs on workplace accommodations/compliance for those living with mental health disabilities. They can be reached at (800) 526-7234.
Once you have received guidance from the ADA Information Line, and you believe your rights in the workplace have been violated, you may wish to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigates and takes on cases of workplace discrimination. To file a file a complaint, contact the EEOC office nearest you by using this locator
If you are denied extended medical leave allowed for by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you may also wish to file a complaint with the Department of Labor and/or the Department of Health and Human Services here.
Additionally, you may wish to consult a member agency of the National Disability Rights Network. There are Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the Four Corners region. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. To find your local P&A/CAP agency, click here.
Finally, Mental Health America also discusses Mental Health Rights on their website.