Lolita Davis of the EEOC(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) provided a workshop for BMC staff about the laws, regulations and client-centered guidance related to employment conditions. Ms. Davis described the importance of understanding the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) so that therapists at the clinic can help their patients who are having difficulty managing at work and experiencing related employment problems.
Approximately 17% of employed people in the US have disabilities, and mores than half of those are medically disabled as opposed to psychiatrically disabled. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against a qualified person with disabilities. Title I does not require employees to proactively hire individuals with disabilities but it prohibits discrimination, and requires reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability.
Knowledge about employment discrimination and employee rights can help therapists advocate for and educate their patients about their legal rights in the workplace.
Important resources can be found at eeoc.gov and jobaccommodationnetwork.com