2016 brought about a host of changes for employers, including new political leaders, ever-changing technology, and new and more open dialogue on a variety of different issues. Aside from politics, perhaps one of the biggest issues brought to the forefront this past year concerns the topic of mental health. Once taboo, discussions of mental health issues are being publicly championed by the likes of Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, Kristen Bell, and Lady Gaga. This new “normal” relating to mental health encourages those suffering to seek treatment without the fear of stigma.
In December, 2016, the EEOC issued a press release announcing its new publication on the Rights of Applicants and Employees with Mental Health Conditions. The press release noted that charges of discrimination relating to employee and applicant mental health conditions are on the rise, with over 5,000 charges and approximately $20 million dollars in settlements obtained in fiscal year 2016 alone.
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