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Employees with Bipolar Disorder: HR’s Roadmap for ADA Accommodations and Practical Issues - On-Demand

Employees with Bipolar Disorder: HR’s Roadmap for ADA Accommodations and Practical Issues - On-Demand

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Employees with Bipolar Disorder: HR’s Roadmap for ADA Accommodations and Practical Issues - On-Demand

Webinar now available On-Demand.

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression or manic-depressive disorder, affects 1 in 20 Americans. Although treatable with medication, it’s considered a lifelong condition. Employees with bipolar disorder may exhibit racing thoughts, poor judgment, impulsive behavior, irritability, and many more issues that affect their ability to function at work, which poses a serious disability accommodation problem for employers.

For example, the EEOC has been investigating if employee and applicant personality tests adversely affect disabled individuals, specifically those with mental illness such as bipolar disorder or depression.

Are your workplace policies and practices in compliance given the ADA’s expanded scope and the EEOC’s interests in this area? So what's your duty to accommodate? Which of your workplace practices could set you up for legal headaches?

You won’t want to miss this timely and vital on-demand webinar. Attorney Susan G. Fentin, Tom Wootton, author of The Bipolar Advantage, and Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., will teach you how to manage employees diagnosed with bipolar disorder and what your legal and practical obligations are for accommodating them. Plus, find out if your workplace testing could leave you vulnerable to disability discrimination claims by applicants and employees who have or are regarded as having bipolar disorder.

You'll learn:

  • What bipolar disorder really is, its signs, and medicinal side effects 
  • HR's takeaway from a recent federal case in which a bipolar employee was terminated for disruptive outbursts 
  • Functional limitations employees with bipolar disorder may experience 
  • How workplace personality tests can violate bipolar applicant or employee rights under the ADA 
  • Workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment 
  • How to tell if someone who is bipolar may have a disability under the ADA 
  • When an accommodation may be considered an undue hardship 
  • When bipolar disorder is considered a serious health condition entitling an employee to block, intermittent, or reduced schedule leave under FMLA 
  • How to deal with performance issues and safety concerns when an employee is on treatment medication 
  • Documentation required for FMLA leave 
  • How to handle privacy issues, such as what constitutes medical information and how to ensure HIPAA and GINA compliance 
  • Practical steps to help bipolar employees manage workloads, meet deadlines, reduce distractions, and boost performance 
  • How much information you can legally disclose to supervisors and coworkers about an employee’s condition 
  • How to engage in the interactive dialogue with an employee with bipolar disorder to identify reasonable accommodations as required under the ADA 
  • How to handle attendance-related issues 
  • Diagnosis of bipolar disorder and treatment adherence issues 
  • Disclosure options and workplace supports for employees with bipolar disorder

About Your Presenters:

Attorney Susan G. Fentin, a partner in the labor and employment firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., has represented exclusively management interests for more than 40 years. She is experienced in teaching master classes on both the FMLA and ADA. Her practice concentrates on labor and employment counseling, advising large and small employers on their responsibilities and obligations under state and federal employment laws, and representing employers before state and federal agencies and in court.


Tom Wootton is the author of The Bipolar Advantage, The Depression Advantage, and Bipolar in Order. He developed new concepts that he integrated into the first Bipolar In Order workshops in 2002. Since that time he has developed a series of workshops dealing with depression and bipolar disorder. He has been considered a leading consumer advocate and speaker and has been giving talks to consumer groups, mental health leaders, and doctors.


Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., is a practicing family therapist, consultant, educator, and author with over 25 years of experience. She is the co-author of two books, has published over 40 book chapters and journal articles and has presented her work nationally and internationally. She is on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, The Journal of Systemic Therapies, and The Family Journal, and is an editor of The Qualitative Report. Maureen is the relationship education coordinator for Bipolar Advantage and was a recent keynote speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 


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