Employment Lawyers Worried about DSM Diagnostic Expansions


An article in HRHero, a legal resource for human resource professionals, expresses concern about the expanding diagnostic categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. “More employees may qualify for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) than ever before, which means employers must be ready to address issues of mental disability accommodation,” writes Lisa Berg. She says employers should also be concerned about increasing numbers of lawsuits accusing discrimination based on these vague, broadening categories of mental disorders. “If you struggle with understanding whether you must accommodate an employee with a mental disorder, you’re not alone. The ADA has become a tricky law to navigate, and now that legal maze has become even more complicated.”

“The DSM-5 threatens to make the already complex task of complying with the ADA more difficult by forcing employers to determine whether and how to accommodate employees with the newly recognized mental conditions… which makes it easier to show that an impairment qualifies as a disability,” writes Berg.

New mental disorders could lead to spike in ADA claims (HRHero, July 20, 2014)


  1. Lol. It is OK though because these employees do suffer from some limitation and limitations are wide spread. All it amounts to is each employee getting customized work support because each person is different and has unique challenges/difficulties.

    Same as trying to train a fleet of dogs to do the same tricks they each behave and respond differently.

    It is a sham though that this has to be worked into a classification of mental disorders just to have the right to some type of accomidation and work place customization.

    The law could be rewrote to not focus on disability rights and more in the rights in each individual regardless… Since everyone can basically claim some mental disability with all the new expanded criteria.

    Report comment

  2. I don’t know how it works in the states but in Canada you do NOT have to disclose a diagnosis. Confirmation of a disability and needed workplace accommodations come from doctors.

    Thankfully there is no legal requirement to disclose a diagnosis. People would be wise to hold their cards close to their chest, we’re not that evolved yet.

    Report comment