ADHD is thought of as a problem for children — most of the kids diagnosed keep suffering from the disorder when they grow up and enter the workforce.
A new study estimates adults with ADHD lose the equivalent of 22.1 days of work a year due to absences and trouble getting work done when they’re present.
Since that can lead to someone getting punished or fired, the question on the mind of HR pros: Are those employees protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Answer: It depends.
Courts have ruled in some cases that plaintiffs’ ADHD didn’t “substantially limit” any major life activities to the extent required by the ADA. However, since ADA suits are so case-specific, that doesn’t mean the disorder will never be considered a disability.
Disability or not?
Managers should be aware of adult ADHD. Here are some ways they can help their workers:
- Change work environments to minimize distractions.
- Allow more time to complete training.
- Clearly explain — orally and in writing — all requirements and expectations.