Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is it the Job's responsibility to accomodate mental health conditions?

A colleague of mine brought to my attention today an interesting article about reasonable accommodation. The article was about how to handle an employee who was diagnosed with a condition as manic-depression. Jeff is a librarian at a large, state-supported university who works as a reference librarian. He has to interact with patrons of the library and other support staff. With his mood swings Jeff becomes extremely depressed and prefers to stay in his office most of the day. Because of this the other librarians took notice and informed HR. The head of HR suggested that Jeff be reassigned to cataloging since it has little interaction with individuals. Do you think it is a reasonable request of HR to reassign Jeff to another department until he recovers from his condition?

Is Jeff's condition a disability? Since it is affecting his productivity this mental condition could be considered a disability. I believe it was a reasonable request to reassign Jeff to another department until his condition is controlled and he is able to complete his assignments and interact with individuals. This article makes you think about how the job should be responsible for handling such conditions and how it has an impact of the business and overall economy.

1 comment:

  1. Hm, this is an interesting hypothetical situation. From what I can tell, this appears to be a reasonable request. Perhaps Jeff would prefer working in cataloging. Or perhaps not. But it would appear he is better suited there, at least temporarily.

    Is it usually the individual with the disability who asks for accommodations? I guess the request could be initiated by anyone, but from the cases I've heard it is the responsibility of the individual with the disability to ask for accommodations.