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California Employees With Bipolar Disorder And Other Psychological Conditions: ADA/FEHA Accommodation And Practical Issues

Webinar: ID# 1023743
Recorded On-Demand
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About This Course:
Bipolar disorder, if not properly managed with medication, can lead to racing thoughts, poor judgment, impulsive behavior, irritability, and many more issues affecting an individual’s ability to function at work. This, in turn, can pose a serious disability accommodation problem for employers.

Mental-health disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety are oftentimes less readily apparent than physical conditions, so an employer isn’t always aware of the need to provide reasonable accommodation. The legal obligation to do so, however, is the same for both mental and physical conditions that satisfy the definition of “disability” under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its California counterpart, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

When it comes to managing your compliance obligations under state and federal law, you need to be able to answer questions like:
  • Is an employee’s mental condition a disability under ADA/FEHA, and how can you tell?
  • What types of accommodations would be reasonable if the conclusion is that an employee’s mental condition is a covered disability?
  • What are some strategies for addressing instances where employees experience bouts of extreme highs, lows, or panic?
Join us when local attorney Danielle Garcia walks you through HR’s roadmap for addressing increasingly common psychological and emotional conditions in California.

You'll learn:
  • Functional limitations employees with conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety may experience
  • When psychological and emotional conditions are generally covered under ADA/FEHA
  • When an employer should make medical inquiries—what’s appropriate, what’s not—regarding mental health
  • How workplace personality tests can violate the rights of bipolar applicants or employees under the ADA/FEHA
  • Workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment for a mental health-related condition, and when a proposed accommodation may be considered an undue hardship
  • When a psychological or emotional condition would be considered a serious health condition entitling an employee to block, intermittent, or reduced-schedule leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • How to deal with performance issues and safety concerns when an employee is being medicated for his or her condition
  • Documentation required for FMLA/CFRA leave and how to handle attendance-related issues
  • How to handle privacy issues, such as what constitutes medical information and how to ensure HIPAA and GINA compliance
About Your Presenter:

Danielle Garcia, Esq.
Associate
Fisher & Philips

Danielle Garcia focuses on representing clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, including traditional labor relations management, harassment, and discrimination. She currently advises employers in all areas of employment law, including properly managing employees with disabilities to prevent costly litigation. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Garcia worked as a human resources generalist where she managed complicated disability and leave scenarios. She has also presented at BLR’s FMLA masters class in San Diego.
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California Employees With Bipolar Disorder And Other Psychological Conditions: ADA/FEHA Accommodation And Practical Issues
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