Tips for Managing Bipolar Disorder at Work
How the Law Protects Those With Bipolar Disorder at Work
If you think you are being treated unfairly at work due to your bipolar
disorder, know that you can seek help. The Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) protects people from discrimination, whether their disability is physical
or mental. However, the law does not contain a list of medical conditions that
make up disabilities. Instead, it has a general definition of disability that
each person must meet. Therefore, you may or may not have a disability under
the ADA. Disability is defined as impairment that substantially limits one or
more major life activities, a past record of these limitations, or being
regarded as having such an impairment.
These laws are complex. Before taking any legal action, it is important to
get professional advice. You can call the U.S. Department of Justice ADA
Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or go to www.ada.gov.
If You Need to Take Time Off Work Due to Bipolar Disorder
If you need time off because of your bipolar disorder, in most cases, you
have more than one option besides vacation and sick leave. See if your employer
offers short- or long-term disability insurance, which allows you to receive a
certain percentage of your salary. Your company’s Human Resources department
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you to take up to 12 weeks of
unpaid leave during a year. For more information, call 1-866-487-9243 or visit
the U.S. Department of Labor web site.
You can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if
you can’t work due to a mental or physical disability. Call 1-800-772-1213 or
visit the Social Security web site.