Mental health awareness is a trending topic in today’s corporate culture. The Department of Labor (DOL) has marked the significance of the topic by launching a new webpage dedicated to supporting mental health at work. Included in the new page is a list of requirements employers are obligated to adhere to support mental health in their workforce.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MPHAEA) establishes that health benefit plans covering mental health or substance use benefits cannot enact harsher restrictions on mental health and substance use than they do comparable medical or surgical benefits. Under the Family and Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees could be entitled up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for mental health conditions. Additionally, reasonable accommodations and discrimination protections under federal law extend to employees dealing with mental health conditions.
Beyond the legal requirements, employers can supplement mental health support with other tools. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are gaining momentum as a valuable resource to employees. EAPs provide employees access to professional, confidential support when experiencing distress. Services range from substance abuse help to work-life balance ideas and more. Whether an EAP is bundled as a value-added service with a carrier’s health insurance benefit, or employers select one as a stand-alone service, employees can enjoy having access to counseling and personal support services free of charge.