Bipolar Disorder in the Workplace
Under California law, employers may not discriminate against an employee because of his/her mental disability. Bipolar disorder is considered a mental disability under California law. As such, an employer may not pay lower compensation to or terminate the employment of an employee because of his/her bipolar disorder.
Although bipolar disorder is a protected mental disability, California's disability discrimination protections for employees with bipolar disorder are not without limits. A California court has held that an employer may terminate an employee with bipolar disorder if his/her bipolar disorder causes the employee to make threats or to commit acts of violence against other employees. In other words, misconduct that consists of threats or acts of violence against other employees -- in and of itself -- is grounds for termination regardless of the fact that the mental disability caused the misconduct in the first place.
The rationale is that an employer has an obligation to provide all of its employees with a safe work environment free from threats and violence. That obligation (to provide a safe work environment) essentially outweighs any obligation to accommodate an employee whose disability causes him/her to threaten or to commit acts of violence against other employees.
If you believe that you have been subjected to disability discrimination at work, call ((916) 612-0326) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.
The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.