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Can I be discriminated against at work for being depressed?

Most people don’t love getting up and going to work. But living with depression makes these daily tasks even more challenging. You are still the same person despite your depression—you just need a little extra help to get through the day. If you need assistance, federal law requires your boss to give it to you.

No discrimination allowed in the workplace

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), your boss can’t discriminate against you for any physical or mental disability. Anytime you are applying for a job, seeking a promotion or negotiating a pay raise, the law protects you.

You may be able to sue your employer for discrimination if they fire you or deny you certain benefits you otherwise deserve because you are depressed.

Accommodations must be provided

Your boss also needs to make things easier for you while you work. As long as an accommodation does not hurt the business, you are entitled to many forms of assistance, such as:

  • Adjusted hours
  • Paid or unpaid leave, whether for sick days or hospital visits
  • Breaks when you need them
  • Technology that can assist you

These are far from the only options you have. The ADA requires your employer to give you the aid you need to be productive at work—as long as your request is reasonable.

It can be uncomfortable and worrying to discuss your mental illness at work. The ADA ensures that your employment is safe and that you can receive the accommodations you need to do your job.

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