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Preventing and Defending Mental Health FMLA and ADA Claims


Learn how to determine if a mental health condition constitutes a serious health condition under FMLA and/or a disability under the ADA.

The rapid rise of mental health issues from employees and applicants now confronts employers with a variety of complex FMLA and ADA issues and potential claims. Increasing diagnoses of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, and similar disorders pose many challenges for employers trying to navigate the often-turbulent waters of the FMLA and ADA. Determining when a mental health condition constitutes a serious health condition under FMLA and/or a disability under the ADA is often neither obvious nor instinctive. Knowing how to identify a covered condition is, of course, only the starting point. Next, employers need to be sure they have the right FMLA and ADA policies in place. Then there is the critical point at which the employer's policies must be applied to oftentimes convoluted factual settings. There are new complexities to telework as a reasonable accommodation after the COVID-required remote work experience. This program will provide the tools for employers to assure they have the necessary policies and guidance to address significant FMLA and ADA obligations while not unduly affecting productivity and placing unwarranted and unfair burdens on those who work with an employee with FMLA- and/or ADA-covered mental health issues. In so doing, employers will have the ability to avoid or successfully defend mental health-based FMLA and ADA claims.



Frank C. Morris, Jr.

Frank C. Morris, Jr.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

  • Senior Partner in the employment law practice in Washington, D.C., and co-chair of the ADA and Public Accommodations Group for the national law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
  • Speaker on the ADA and employment law to the judicial conferences for the federal judges of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits
  • Adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America and the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, and Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Top-Rated Lawyers
  • Represents and counsels employers and public accommodations nationally in employment, labor, leave, and disability matters
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]

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