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Potential Dangers of Stereotyping Employees with Mental Illnesses

June 2006
Employment Law Notes
A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision illustrates the perils of stereotyping employees with a current or prior mental illness. Josephs v. Pacific Bell, 443 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2006). In Josephs, the Court held that an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for terminating an employee after learning that he previously had been found not guilty by reason of insanity for attempted murder. While this may seem remarkable at first glance, the decision makes more sense when viewed through the prisms of the ADA.