Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is a mental health condition that impacts the parts of the brain that help a person focus, maintain self-control and remain organized. With proper treatment, individuals with ADHD can manage their symptoms and live a full life. But the problem is that this condition doesn’t have a full cure. It’s common to have bouts of difficulty focusing and periods of procrastination, even with the best care. As a result, employers or even other employees might sometimes discriminate against people with ADHD when they notice their performance not being up to par. Fortunately, every worker in Rhode Island has rights and protections to curb such instances.
According to the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, a person with a disability has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity. This also includes individuals who have previously had an impairment, regardless of whether they are currently displaying any symptoms.
That said, ADHD qualifies as a disability in Rhode Island, which means that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone because of it. This applies to all stages of the hiring process, including interviews and job offers, as well as the terms and conditions of employment.
When facing discrimination
If you face discrimination due to your ADHD in the workplace, it’s important to know that you can take legal action against your employer or colleagues involved. Begin by documenting every instance of discrimination: record the details, including date, time, location, persons involved and what exactly happened.
Next, file a complaint with your company’s Human Resources department, outlining the discriminatory incidents and how they have affected you. If the issue remains unresolved, contact the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights or the Division of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion to lodge a formal complaint.
The battle against ADHD workplace discrimination is a collective effort that requires understanding, empathy and respect for neurodiversity. While the journey can be challenging, safeguards and protections are in place to uphold your rights. It’s important to remember to maintain a positive mindset and keep in mind that your unique abilities make you an outstanding asset to the workplace.