Archives: Mental Health

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Paid Family Leave On the Rise – California and New York State Both Set to Expand Benefits Starting January 1, 2018

Come January 1, 2018, employees in California and New York will enjoy new and expanded rights to time off work, with pay, to attend to certain family needs.  New York, whose law was enacted in 2016 (see our prior post here), boasts its law as being the nation’s “strongest and most comprehensive” on paid family … Continue Reading

Mental health and difficult meetings – how far can the employer insist?

Much has been written over the last month or so about Mental Health, and rightly so.  It has now overtaken back pain as the principal cause of workplace absence in the UK.  Anything which encourages an environment in which mental health issues may be more openly discussed and genuine sufferers’ sense of isolation or embarrassment … Continue Reading

Thriving at Work

Today saw the publication of the Thriving at Work report commissioned by the Prime Minister in January this year and written by Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive of MIND and Lord Stevenson, the former Chairman of HBOS who has been open about his own struggle with clinical depression. This is a far reaching report, a … Continue Reading

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK

What do we mean when we talk about “mental health”? The World Health Organisation defines mental health as: “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” The … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Guidance on the Rights of Applicants and Employees with Mental Health Conditions

On December 12, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a resource document explaining the legal rights of workers with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each year, approximately 5% of charges filed with the EEOC allege discrimination or harassment based on mental health conditions. While not announcing new law, the guidance … Continue Reading

Unwinding settlement agreements through lack of mental capacity

When you sign up a Settlement Agreement with an ex-employee you think that’s the end of the matter, right? Clearly that is the general intention, but we already know that even the most procedurally prim and proper settlement agreement can be undone by evidence that it was entered into by fraud or misrepresentation and now … Continue Reading

Time Off as an ADA Accommodation? You Better Be-Leave It!

Many employers maintain policies that restrict the amount of time an employee can take off from work, or that prohibit employees who are ineligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take time off from work at all even when ill or injured.  But a new resource document issued by the EEOC … Continue Reading

Bad medicine – the dangers of contacting an employee during sickness absence

It is a common issue facing employers; you want to start or take next steps with a grievance or disciplinary investigation. To do the right thing you want to meet with the employee to discuss your concerns but the worker is on sick leave or goes sick, often citing work-related stress.  Can you contact the … Continue Reading

Doing the Lambeth Talk – Mr Livingstone, I presume

An interesting new defence to discriminatory harassment claims has been trialled this month by none other than former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. Our Ken was recently appointed to a senior role in Labour’s Defence Review. Objections were heard from a number of quarters including Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones on the seemingly not unreasonable grounds … Continue Reading

Speak now, don’t forever hold your peace – getting the best out of National Stress Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day, though another long and difficult journey on Thameslink this morning means that actually I am quite stress–aware enough already, thank you for asking. This is not another of those pieces about the business case for countering sources of stress in your workplace.  That is too obvious to bear repetition.  … Continue Reading

Mental health in the City workplace – how are you doing?

No job within the Square Mile is immune from its own stresses or strains.  As the City of London Corporation’s Business Healthy blog notes (https://www.businesshealthy.org/blog/), the recent economic climate has exacerbated these through the invariable requirement that businesses reduce their cost base without adversely affecting their profits.  Undoubtedly, this drive to do more with less … Continue Reading

EMPLOYEE STRESSED OUT BY MANAGER IS NOT DISABLED AND MAY BE TERMINATED

Stress can be a common workplace complaint, and such complaints are often attributed to managers—perhaps unsurprisingly given the managerial role of meeting performance goals. A recent case found that such narrow and particularized stress is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Aside from the reason for the plaintiff’s stress, … Continue Reading

Six year delay in claim to UK Tribunal potentially excused by mental health issues

This is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, so here are two brief and totally unrelated perspectives on mental health issues in the workplace. First, a cautionary note for employers in relation to Employment Tribunal proceedings brought by sufferers of serious mental health issues.  In Higgins – v – Home Office decided last week, … Continue Reading
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