JAN’s Accommodation and Compliance Series is designed to help employers determine effective accommodations and comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Accommodation and Compliance Series is a starting point in the accommodation process and may not address every situation.
Accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, considering each employee’s individual limitations and accommodation needs.
An article by "Forbes" about bipolar in the workplace explains employees with the disorder usually approach their disorder at work in one of three ways: telling everyone, supervisors included; telling no one; or telling a couple of coworkers they trust. The employee might request an office with a window, a later starting time, several short breaks throughout the day instead of one long lunch break.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, states that employers must not discriminate based on a disability or mental disorder and must be reasonably accommodating to employees. A variety of online resources exist to provide information to people who know someone with bipolar (See Resourcez). If the requests are reasonable and won't affect productivity, meet as many needs as you can. Offer broad encouragement, but don't be a therapist. Despite being compassionate and encouraging to employees who suffer from bipolar, supervisors must still be concerned and watchful for the company.
vii also prohibits workplace or job segregation based on religion (including religious garb and grooming practices), such as assigning an employee to a non-customer contact position because of actual or feared customer preference.
in general, you must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs by relaxing the application of your ordinary dress code unless that would cause an undue hardship.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 2.6 percent of American adults, or 6.1 million people, live with bipolar disorder (NAMI, 2013).
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder marked by periods of elevated mood (mania), and prolonged periods of sadness and hopelessness (depression). The EEOC (2009) has a publication called “Psychiatric Disabilities and the ADA,” which is available online at
In other words, bipolar people are sometimes quite functional, while at other times, their functionality is impaired.
However, this provides quite an opportunity for accommodation.
If you avoid promoting a person with mental illness because of "what might happen" without proper evidence, you don't have good enough reason. Mitchell Holt has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Abilene Christian University and has been freelancing since 2009 with work published in various newspapers and magazines like "Boston NOW" and "The Abilene Reporter-News." Holt also writes sales copy for small businesses.