ADHD has to be Accommodated Under ADA, State Agency Rules

When it comes to matters of accommodating individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), most companies will tell you that just about every ailment and condition is covered. But what about attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Recently, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), a state agency that has the power to resolve cases of discrimination, recently ruled that the conditions DO in fact have to be accommodated.

In the case in question, the plaintiff filed a complaint with MCAD suggesting that his employer, CSX Transportation, failed to make accommodations to help him master a computer device necessary for his job. According to his claim, he requested additional training, but this help was never provided and he was later disciplined for submitting a request for “excessive overtime,” which he claims he needed to complete tasks on the device as a result of his ADHD.

MCAD ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him nearly $225,000 in lost pay and an additional $100,000 in damages for emotional distress.

HR Morning notes that even when employers are unsure whether a condition should be considered a disability, they should always exercise caution and enter the ADA’s interactive process and seek advice on accommodations. They note that in the case of ADD or ADHD, this may take the form of overtime pay for completing necessary tasks and that this is something that a business should work to accommodate where applicable.