Does Job Burnout Require a Reasonable Accommodation?

Burnout has been, continues to be, and IS an epidemic in the workplace.  It cuts across organizational hierarchies, job titles, and salaries/wages.  Burnout is real and creates devastating results for its victims. 

But if you’re an organizational leader or HR practitioner, you might wonder:  Is job burnout a disability? 

According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), workers who have a recognized disability but can still complete the essential functions of the job must receive reasonable accommodations.  These accommodations are job modifications that take their disability into consideration so that they can apply their KSAs to perform the duties and responsibilities of the job. 

The problem is that burnout is currently not considered to be a mental health diagnosis – which means that a diagnosis of “burnout” may not meet the ADA requirements. 

If you or one of your employees seems to be burning out, EAP can be an option.  Additionally, burnout often manifests in other mental or physical health problems – which (once diagnosed) might be eligible for a reasonable accommodation. 

But that’s only in the U.S. 

In Europe, it’s quite a different story.  Burnout is recognized and some countries are taking steps to address this workplace epidemic. 

It is my firm belief that burnout can be avoided in the workplace – but it might start with taking a close look at how your organizational policies, processes, procedures, and demands might be burning out your workers. 

In this quick 2-minute video, I’ll share some ideas to consider when faced with workplace burnout.

© 2021 G. A. Puleo.  Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning and Coaching company focused on transforming the world of work by eradicating burnout.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com

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