ADHD diagnoses skyrocket: Here's how to accommodate.

We're experiencing an explosion of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the adult version may be far more prevalent than previously believed. A recent study found that 60% of children with an ADHD diagnosis who reached adulthood did not outgrow the condition. Given that the CDC estimates that 4.5 million children have ADHD, that's a lot of working-age adults who may be similarly disabled.

An ADA-covered disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate disabled applicants and employees. To be disabled under the ADA--and therefore eligible for reasonable accommodations--individuals must have a physical or mental condition that substantially impacts major life activities such as walking, breathing, concentrating, memory, sleeping and getting along with others. Adult ADHD may qualify as an ADA disability in most cases.

The EEOC has frequently sued employers who allegedly discriminate against adults with ADHD. Often, the allegations involve a rescinded job offer after the applicant confesses to having adult ADHD or when an employee requests reasonable accommodations for ADHD symptoms. Here are a few cases:

* A job offer was rescinded after the applicant revealed his ADHD diagnosis and his drug test was positive for Adderall, a prescribed amphetamine for treating ADHD. (EEOC v. International Paper, ND TX 2022)

* A recently hired employee with adult ADHD revealed she took prescription medication for the condition, and her new supervisor told her to stop taking it. She didn't and was fired. The employer settled the case and paid her $100,000. (EEOC v. Hollingsworth Richards, ED LA 2022)

Adult ADHD accommodations

Employees with ADHD may have trouble listening to instructions, organizing and staying on task, finishing...

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