We Protect Workers

Can an employer ask about mental health?

Can an employer ask about mental health?

Mental health is crucial in all aspects of life, including careerwise. For this reason, employers should protect employees mentally or provide reasonable accommodations for those with existing conditions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission categorizes some mental health conditions under disability. 

But does this mean employers can ask about mental health? Here is what you need to know.

They can ask in certain circumstances

Generally, an employer may not ask about your mental health. They may not be allowed to do so when you exhibit unusual signs at work or your performance lowers. It may also be unlawful to ask job candidates about their mental conditions.

However, they may do so in certain conditions. These include: 

  • When you request reasonable accommodations
  • If there is objective evidence that you may be unable to work or pose a safety risk to others
  •  When creating an inclusive workplace – An employer may track disability status across its employment or candidate pool to include people with disabilities. In such an instance, they may ask about mental health

However, even when an employer may have grounds for this matter, they should do so respectfully, and an employee or candidate should know they can choose not to disclose. 

How can you tell if you were discriminated against?

If you were a job candidate who had met every qualification but was denied the position after the employer asked about your mental condition, they may have used the information you provided to make the decision. 

Further, if your employer unfairly treats you or denies providing reasonable accommodations after learning of your condition, you should be alarmed. 

If you believe you experienced discrimination due to mental health, you should get legal help to protect your rights.