Sometimes, the searches that lead to people finding my blog make me sad.

I happened to look at the latest searches that led to my blog, and felt like crying when I saw the following on it:

“can i get fired if my job finds out i’m on prozac?”

Lord have mercy, but I know that’s crossed my mind a dozen or two times. My clients ask questions like this a lot, as do random people on the street- I swear I have “I’m a social worker” tattooed on me someplace and I’m not aware of it- and it’s heartbreaking.

Seems how I’m not exactly a lawyer, I think I’ll let someone who actually knows what they’re talking about explain:

Americans with Disabilities Act and mental illness

Most notable section, at least to me:

Some things to remember:

* Your employer has to make reasonable accommodation only if they know about your mental illness.
* Employers do not have to accommodate disabilities that they don’t know about.
* If an employee with a known disability is having a hard time doing his or her job, an employer may ask whether the employee is in need of a reasonable accommodation.
* Also, if the employer has reason to know that the employee has a disability, they may have an obligation to discuss reasonable accommodation. Mostly, however, it is up to the person with the disability to tell the employer that an accommodation is needed.
* An employer cannot ask questions about your medical or psychiatric history during an interview.
* An employer can ask you objective questions that help the employer decide whether you can perform essential duties of a job. An employer may ask you about your ability to meet the physical standards for jobs involving physical labor, your ability to get along with people, or your ability to finish tasks on time and to come to work every day.

As someone who has had reasonable accommodations in the past, it is pretty awesome. It is also absolutely TERRIFYING to explain this to an employer. I would not recommend bringing it up in the interview, for one. I would also not recommend bringing it up when you’re in crisis, which I’ve now done TWICE, dammit. There’s no real ‘good’ time to bring it up, though, so you’ll just have to make a judgement call for yourself. Having an advocate is also helpful, but it really depends on the job.


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