This article will discuss the standards of the ADA with respect to accommodating mental illness in the workplace. It will argue the ADA definitions are not precise enough to apprising employers of what are their obligations regarding mentally ill persons in the workplace. It will additionally make suggestions for revising the statute and regulations to achieve this goal. In reaching its conclusion, this article will discuss popular conceptions about mental illness, and the current statutory framework of the ADA. Representative case law will be considered within the context of these topics. The article will ultimately suggest that fairness to both employers and employees can only be achieved by clearer definitions within the statute and an overt acknowledgment that mental disabilities are not necessarily synonymous with physical disabilities.
Karin Mika & Denise Wimbiscus, Responsibilities of Employers toward Mentally Disabled Persons under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 11 J.L. & Health 173 (1996-1997)