Depression in the workplace

So I submitted a medical note requesting reasonable accommodations (intermittent leave of 1-4 hours per day, no more than 2 days a week) during really bad episodes of my depression and anxiety. Well my employer denied the accommodation request and stated that they could only provide full-time personal leave because they can't work with the uncertainty of my intermittent leave request. Mind you this intermittent leave request is only during really bad episodes that at for the most happen less often thanks to my medication. I don't understand how full-time leave is okay but on a case by case basis intermittent leave is unacceptable.

13 Replies

  • @cathy42986 , do you live in the UK ?? If you do it's possible the Equalities Act 2010 MAY with 'reasonable adjustments' being made, though I could be wrong.

    Mental illness is a disability after all, and often not long lasting.

    Good luck.

  • Hi when you made this request was it with backing from occupational health or your doctor? If not try and get them on board as this will add weight to your argument.

    If they still refuse then there isn't a great deal you can do. Any reasonable adjustments made by your employer are always subject to business needs which take priority.

    I presume you are in the UK as I don't know the rules in other countries. x

  • No I'm actually in the US. I've been reviewing all the laws concerning this issue. It just angers me that they aren't willing to work with the accommodation. I mean this is our slowest part of the year and i want to work. My doctor just requested this accommodation because she wants to prevent me from being hospitalized due to a severe episode

  • Cathy, in the US , the issue of reasonable accommodation as it applies under the American with Disabilities Act can be fuzzy, as there is also the phrase of being able to do the essential parts of the job in order to grant you the accommodations needed. I was able to commute from home on my laptop on high pain days. But you appear to be in a position where your employer is saying being there in person is an essential part of your position. Hummm. Is there anyone who can cover for you? Or can you pick the days when you take time off to prevent you from ever reaching a bad episode?

    Lillaclil is right...many business demands usually rule on consistency, and this "accommodation" doesn't provide that to your employer, because no one knows when you'll need it.


  • The work might have concerns that you are not up to the job or not stable enough.

  • I'm very sorry to hear about this, I haven't yet called in sick for a mental health day. Boy, some days I have needed it. I'm too scared to because of the stigma and misunderstandings attached to the subject. It angers me that it's not taken seriously in this day in age, by a lot of people.

    Have any of you read about this story? Very touching, gives me hope.

  • Why not just call in sick? Many people do that , and they do not call it a mental health day.

  • Yeah, I guess I don't need an explanation when I call in. My boss and coworkers always ask if I'm feeling better the next day that I come in. So I feel the need to explain why I was away. That's when I feel awkward and nervous to be honest.

  • You don't need to explain- just say I am feeling better, thank you. If they ask for a doctor's note after a certain number of days- well you can deal with it then. What kind of work do you do? Most people have "off" days.

  • True. I am an accountant.

  • Well that is a very important an presigious job.

  • I don't know about the us but I guess it also depends on what your job is. if you work in childcare for example it would be easy for them to cover a whole day but impossible for them to find cover at short notice if you needed to have a longer bresk in the middle of the day. my guess is it depends on your role and the size of the company as to how flexible they are able to be.

  • These days you have to be able to do a job . Most accomodations are physical such as a ramp, better lighting , sound etc. Depression is a common thing, so lots of people can claim that they are too depressed to work.

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