The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has put out a batch of semiformal advice that could affect the efforts of some disability insurance claimants to return to work.
In the guidance, EEOC officials give mental health care providers advice about their role in clients’ efforts to ask employers to make reasonable accommodations at work.
The guidance could affect psychologists, social workers or others who are trying to help workers who are off the job primarily because of mental health problems such as depression or manic depression.
The guidance also could affect providers who are helping workers who are off the job primarily because of physical disabilities but who also are suffering from problems such as depression.
The EEOC is involved because it plays a role in helping to administer the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Mental health care providers involved in helping patients to return to work have to think about safety, privacy, and the possibility of discrimination as well as the ADA provisions that require employers to make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, officials say in the guidance.
The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees.