Accommodations are determined by examining the demands of the specific work environment and essential job functions in relation to the abilities of the worker.
- Clarify any ambiguities in accommodation recommendations from the treating psychiatrist/psychologist.
- Prepare an outline or checklist covering key areas in preparation for meeting with your employee to discuss possible accommodations or changes in assignments.
- For employees returning to the workplace following an absence, if appropriate, consider a phased return to work (RTW) with gradual increases in both hours and duties with the goal of resuming full responsibilities.
- For employees remaining in the workplace, consider a temporary change in work responsibilities until the employee is able to resume regular assignments. Note: It is important to document changes in job responsibilities in writing, specify time frames until the next review and clarify possible next steps/outcomes. Emphasize to the employee that work performance standards still need to be maintained.
- Consider breaking the job down into manageable tasks that are appropriate for the person at the time. Focusing on short term work goals can aide in successful completion of work assignments.
- Encourage the employee to develop and share steps (s)he will take to prioritize work and to meet important deadlines.
- Engage in interactive dialogue with the employee. Provide positive feedback when warranted. Meet frequently with the employee. Use a performance evaluation checklist to review progress. Reassess the needs for changes in supervisory support.
- Consider temporary staffing as a means of providing additional support to complete assignments.
- Keep in mind that accommodations/supports may need to be adjusted over time to meet changing unit expectations and/or changes in the employee's level of functioning.
- Explain changes in work assignments to the employee's coworkers. Always emphasize how the employee with the disability will be contributing to the unit's work production by these changes.
- For an employee who exhibits aggressive, argumentative or challenging behavior, avoid escalation of the situation. Consider consultation with a trained mental health professional. A trained mental health professional can also be used to provide support and guidance for the supervisor at any time during the accommodation process. University resources who can provide supervisory support include the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) and the MWorks Employee Assistance Program.
Accommodating Employees with PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES Home
WHOM DOES THIS AFFECT?
MYTHS ABOUT PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES
WHAT IS REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION?
EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL JOB ACCOMMODATIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS