Regardless of where you work, you should not have to face mistreatment of any kind on the basis of a mental condition. There is no room for harassment or discrimination in the workplace, and if you experienced this because of a mental disorder, such as depression, you do not have to remain silent. Going through this can take a mental and emotional toll, contributing to duress, anxiety and other complications.
Victims of workplace discrimination due to their mental health may have grounds to pursue legal action against their employers. However, you may benefit from first learning more about workplace discrimination and whether you have experienced a violation of your rights. There could be options available to you through which you can hold your employer accountable and fight for justice.
Mental health conditions and employee rights
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employees who have mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and more, have protection against harassment and discrimination. In order to understand your rights and determine if what you experienced is discrimination, the following statements may be helpful:
- Your employer cannot fire you solely on the basis of a mental health condition.
- In many cases, you have the right to keep your condition private, and an employer cannot question you about your condition.
- You may be eligible for reasonable accommodations if you need them in order to do your job.
- Your employer may not fire or demote you for asking for reasonable accommodations that you require in order to do your job.
In addition to these things, you also do not have to suffer through unfair treatment in the form of harassment. This includes aggressive comments, exclusion from work-related events, persistent verbal mistreatment and more. These things may seem like an inconvenience that you must endure, but they could actually be harassment. Employers are responsible for the development of a hostile work environment and allowing harassing behaviors to persist.
What should you do as a victim?
As a victim of harassment or discrimination in your California workplace, you have the right to speak out and seek an end to this treatment. You also have the right to seek compensation for the additional mental and emotional duress you experienced as a result of it. You may struggle with a mental health disorder, but that does not diminish your rights as an employee in any type of workplace.