Individuals with mental disorders face unique difficulties when it comes to seeking the protections and benefits of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). The definition of “disability” under the ADA explicitly includes “mental impairments” that substantially limit one or more major life activities but it can be much harder for someone suffering from a mental illness to demonstrate such a limitation. If you add in employer skepticism and the general cultural stigma in relation to mental illness, you begin to see the additional challenges confronting individuals with mental disabilities. However, a recent case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals provides a good example of what protections these individuals can receive to protect their employment. See McMillan v. City of New York, 711 F.3d 120 (2d Cir. 2013).
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