When you go to work, you have the right to do your job without fear of experiencing any type of harassment or discriminatory treatment. Unfortunately, however, some California employees do experience discrimination due to factors beyond their control, including mental health disorders such as depression. Your depression or other type of mental health issue does not affect your right to work in an environment that is safe and free from mistreatment.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, workers with depression and other mental health conditions, such as PTSD, have protection against harassment and discrimination in the workplace. You have the right to privacy, as well as the right to seek reasonable accommodations that will allow you to do your job effectively. It is in your interests to know your rights and fight for your interests if you are a victim of discrimination.
Common questions about depression and employee rights
If you struggle with depression, you are not alone. You are also capable of working and earning an income, yet your employer or others in your workplace may treat you differently or negatively. The following information about your depression and your rights in the workplace may be helpful as you seek an understanding of your protections under the law:
- Your employer cannot fire you, demote you or discriminate against you solely on the basis of your depression.
- If your depression could affect your work, you have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation without fear of retaliation.
- In most situations at work, you have the right to privacy about your condition.
- If you are experiencing harassment because of your depression, you do not have to suffer through this type of treatment in silence.
- If you are experiencing a violation of your rights, you may take action against your employer through a claim.
If you speak out about the discriminatory treatment you experienced in your place of work, you also have protection against additional retaliatory action from your employer.
What should you do next?
If you believe you are a victim of discrimination because of your depression, you may benefit from seeking an explanation of your rights. It may also be in your interests to seek professional guidance regarding the legal options available to you. Discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable, and victims may seek justice and compensation.