Frank Morris Quoted in “Employment Practices: Distress Signals”

Risk and Insurance

Frank C. Morris, Jr., Member of the Firm in the Litigation, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, and Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practices, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Risk and Insurance, in “Employment Practices: Distress Signals,” by Katie Kuehner-Hebert.

Following is an excerpt:

What happens when an employee starts exhibiting signs of mental illness after they’re hired? It can be difficult for organizations to balance the need to reasonably accommodate mentally ill people with productivity needs and fears of potential violence.

But the amount of resources available to help employers support such workers is rising. …

Need Can Be Implied …

While the onus is typically on employees to request accommodations, they don’t have to actually use the words “reasonable accommodation” if the need is obvious, said Frank C. Morris, Jr., of Epstein Becker & Green P.C.

“For example, if an employee tells a supervisor that they need to go twice a week for medical treatment for the next six months, or requests time off for extended medical treatment, the EEOC and the courts will likely find this to be sufficient notice of an accommodation request,” Morris said.

One potential accommodation could be allowing employees time off to adjust to new medications or a new combination of medications, he said. But it should be for a reasonable and finite period of time until the problem can be controlled and for the employee to resume being productive at work.