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infinite_jest  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:44:58 AM(UTC)
infinite_jest

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Next Monday, I am starting a four-week intensive outpatient program for depression and mood instability. It’s basically group therapy and medication management. I am doing it as a preventative measure against worsening mental health. It is a few hours in the morning, but goes past our agency’s core hours, so I have to use leave. I have enough sick leave, but it’ll require most of it. Our agency is working from home.

I have a few questions I’d appreciate any help with:
1. Does my employer have to know the reason for the medical leave?
2. Can I request a temporary reasonable accommodation to allow me to work flexible hours so I don't have to use so much leave?
3. Will a reasonable accommodation approval mean that a mental illness diagnosis will remain on my personnel file? Will this cause any issues with secure clearances if I apply to other positions in the future? My current clearance is non-sensitive public trust.
4. Can a record of mental illness treatment affect me negatively with my current job? My performance review is coming up in two weeks, as well as my eligibility for my grade increase.

My girlfriend thinks I shouldn’t be so worried about this and that it’ll be good for my employers to know I’m seeking treatment for depression. I tend to worry about stigma and that they’ll see me as a liability or too sensitive, or something. Thanks for any advice.
GSBS  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 18, 2020 1:47:40 PM(UTC)
GSBS

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As soon as I even requested the possibility of an accommodation or taking any leave my Supervisor shared all the personal details with my coworkers, 2 who mentioned they were going to file a grievance (not sure with whom?) if I was given any special treatment. I too also had psychological issues that were getting worse in a toxic workplace. You asked some great questions. I would say the answer is yes for all 4 questions, and add your girlfriend might be giving you bad advice? I would immediately look into filing for OPM Disability Retirement if you are covered under FERS or CSRS. You can consult with a disability attorney at no charge!

Edited by user Friday, September 18, 2020 1:50:05 PM(UTC)  | Reason: .

frankgonzalez  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2020 2:21:02 AM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Originally Posted by: GSBS Go to Quoted Post
As soon as I even requested the possibility of an accommodation or taking any leave my Supervisor shared all the personal details with my coworkers, 2 who mentioned they were going to file a grievance (not sure with whom?) if I was given any special treatment. I too also had psychological issues that were getting worse in a toxic workplace. You asked some great questions. I would say the answer is yes for all 4 questions, and add your girlfriend might be giving you bad advice? I would immediately look into filing for OPM Disability Retirement if you are covered under FERS or CSRS. You can consult with a disability attorney at no charge!
1st..let them file a grievance. The law is on your side not theirs if you get an reasonable accommodation due to medical reasons.

2nd. Should have filed an EEO complaint the moment the supervisor shared any of your medical info with your coworkers. Pretty much a losing case for the agency as it is a violation of the Rehab Act.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2020 2:29:15 AM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Originally Posted by: infinite_jest Go to Quoted Post


I have a few questions I’d appreciate any help with:
1. Does my employer have to know the reason for the medical leave?
You are entering a treatment program as recommended by your doctor. All they need to know.
Originally Posted by: infinite_jest Go to Quoted Post
2. Can I request a temporary reasonable accommodation to allow me to work flexible hours so I don't have to use so much leave?
You can request an accommodation (don't call it temporary...those aren't required) due to your medical condition. A flexible schedule (such as maxiflex) or a gliding schedule (allowing you to start later) would both fall into the reasonable accommodation realm. To make it less of an issue for your supervisor, noting that once you finish this treatment, you should be able to go back to your regular schedule would be useful. And your accommodation would be on file in case you need to go back for adjustments as your issues progress (increase/decrease meds, etc).
Originally Posted by: infinite_jest Go to Quoted Post
3. Will a reasonable accommodation approval mean that a mental illness diagnosis will remain on my personnel file? Will this cause any issues with secure clearances if I apply to other positions in the future? My current clearance is non-sensitive public trust.
Self identification is not harmful...them finding out without you telling them can be. The fact you are seeking treatment for an issue (drug/alcohol abuse issues are slightly different though!) is a positive sign.
Originally Posted by: infinite_jest Go to Quoted Post
4. Can a record of mental illness treatment affect me negatively with my current job? My performance review is coming up in two weeks, as well as my eligibility for my grade increase.
If it does impact you, wonderful EEO complaint for them to try and explain how you suddenly went from good employee to bad employee the moment you said you were getting treatment!

Originally Posted by: infinite_jest Go to Quoted Post
My girlfriend thinks I shouldn’t be so worried about this and that it’ll be good for my employers to know I’m seeking treatment for depression. I tend to worry about stigma and that they’ll see me as a liability or too sensitive, or something. Thanks for any advice.
Your girlfriend is correct. If you have issues, then EEO becomes a valid place to address them.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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