Blanchard & Walker Weekly

Topic of the Week  Mental Health and Disability Leave

With World Mental Health Day right around the corner, it's important to know your rights when it comes to mental health in the workplace. Issues like burnout, social anxiety, depression and more can make it nearly impossible to be present or productive at work. If you are struggling with a mental illness, you may have rights when it comes to taking leave from your job, also known as disability leave, thanks to The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and some state laws.

Q: What is disability leave?

A: The term disability leave means to take leave from work for one of many possible reasons. Under the ADA and FMLA, disability leave is used to refer to time taken by employees dealing with a disability, such as mental illness, as a reasonable accommodation and requires treatment by a healthcare provider.

Q: Is my employer required by law to offer disability leave?

A: Only in certain situations. An employer can establish attendance and leave policies that are uniformly applied to all employees, regardless of disability, but may not refuse leave needed by an employee with a disability if other employees get such leave. An employer also may be required to make adjustments in leave policy as a reasonable accommodation for a worker with a disability. The employer is not required to provide additional paid leave, but accommodations for a disability may include leave flexibility and unpaid leave. 

Thought of the Week

"Talking about mental health in the workplace establishes open communication and a safe environment for employees to feel connected to their work and to their leaders. [It] also helps employees to reach their goals. It helps leaders begin to better understand what their employees need to be more productive."

–Jennifer Moss | Author

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week



    • Working off the Clock – Alro Steel FLSA Overtime Pay Lawsuit May 30, 2022

      Federal Court Orders Notice to Alro Steel Employees in Nationwide Overtime Lawsuit

      Blanchard & Walker sent the court approved notice to 2500+ Alro Steel employees who may have a right to seek recover for off-the-clock uncompensated time at Alro Steel facilities throughout the country. Federal District Court Judge Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted conditional certification and ordered notice of FLSA rights to opt-in for current and former warehouse employees of Alro Steel Corporation. (more…)

    • The End of Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment March 8, 2022

      On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act. This law is one significant step forward in the fight to end arbitration contracts that deny access to the Courts for violations of fundamental workplace rights.

      For far too long, countless survivors, workers, and consumers have been silenced by forced arbitration. (more…)


      News Update: Promised Waivers fall short.  According to recent reporting, the waiver program was much smaller than promised.  Although waivers for 55,000 more claimants is a good step forward, it fell short of the 382,000 promised and as of May 12, 2022 there is still no explanation about when or if more will be coming.