In 2009, the ADA Amendments Act took effect. One of the objectives of the ADAAA was both to cover more people and to give those people with disabilities greater protection from discrimination at work.
One of the groups still experiencing very low employment rates are those people with mental disabilities. The new amendments provide greater coverage for people with “psychiatric and mental disabilities.” At a recentADAAA EEOC hearing, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum noted that it is important to continued knocking down barriers to employment – increasing evidence shows that people with mental disability “can perform well” in the workplace.
As stated by the executive director of the Georgia Advocacy Office, “[V]irtually
everybody with a disability can work.” The biggest obstacle to employment
of persons with mental disabilities remains the “consciously and
unconsciously held beliefs” of employers about persons with such
disabilities. Sometimes an accommodation “simple as a flexible work
schedule” is all it takes to employ a qualified worker with disabilities.
The ADAAA protects qualified workers with disabilities from discrimination. This includes discrimination bases on stereotypes and unfounded concerns, as well as employer perceptions of a disability. As Atlanta employment lawyers dedicated to eliminating employment discrimination, we are hopeful that with the enactment of the ADAAA, discrimination against all people with disabilities, including mental and psychiatric, will lessen.
For more information or if you believe you or a loved one has been discriminated at work or suffered a negative employment action – such as not being hired or promoted – as the result of a mental or physical disability, please contact the experienced Georgia disability discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP, LLC.