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John Smith is under treatment for bipolar disorder, in the past he has explained to management that his condition causes him to experience a wide range of emotions making it difficult for him to control his anger. After threatening other employees with violence John was placed on administrative leave pending a physiological evaluation confirming his emotional condition has stabilized.
Our case study does not specify whether or not the company has implemented policies against threats of violence towards coworkers or the specific details of John’s conduct. If the organization has a policy against threats of violence towards coworkers, and is found to be in direct violation of this policy John may not be able to have his position reinstated through the ADA even though his misconduct resulted from his disability. As an employer I must balance both my obligation to provide all employees with a safe work environment, while also keeping the best interest of John who suffers from Bipolar disorder in mind.
Before any accommodations are set in place John Smith must provide documentation certifying his disability. This certification should come from a health care professional and will also need to include any limitations which John will require accommodations for. Once this documentation has been received it will be imperative for the recommendations as well as John’s current responsibilities to be analyzed. Accommodations will be implemented with the best interest of both John and the organization in mind.
If John’s physiological evaluation concludes his emotional condition has stabilized and he is permitted to return to work. John may be able to work a modified schedule, or reassigned to a different department. As John’s condition not only affects him but also those around him John’s coworkers will receive sensitivity training as well as shown different methods to work with John when he is experiencing an episode of mania or depression.

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