Marcos De Hoyos
Houston Employment Trial Lawyer Marcos De Hoyos

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness and recognition of mental health issues in the workplace. As individuals strive to balance professional responsibilities with personal well-being, it becomes essential to understand the legal framework that protects employees facing mental health challenges. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a crucial piece of legislation that provides a foundation for requesting accommodations to ensure equal opportunities for all. In this blog, we’ll explore the intersection of mental health and the ADA, focusing on how employees can effectively request accommodations from their employers.

Understanding the ADA and Mental Health

The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in various aspects of life, including employment. Importantly, the ADA defines a disability broadly, encompassing both physical and mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD fall within the ADA’s scope, making employees with these conditions eligible for protection and reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable Accommodations

The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities to ensure they can perform essential job functions. When it comes to mental health, reasonable accommodations can vary widely, depending on the nature of the condition and the specific demands of the job. Examples of accommodations for mental health might include flexible work schedules, telecommuting options, modified job duties, or additional breaks.

Initiating the Accommodations Process

If you are dealing with a mental health condition and believe that workplace accommodations would be beneficial, initiating the request process is a crucial step. Here are some guidelines to help navigate this process effectively:

  1. 1. Self-Reflection: Before approaching your employer, take some time for self-reflection. Identify specific aspects of your job that are impacted by your mental health condition and consider potential accommodations that could address those challenges.
  2. 2. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights under the ADA. Understanding the legal framework will empower you to articulate your needs effectively and advocate for your rights in a knowledgeable manner.
  3. 3. Communicate Openly: When you feel ready, schedule a private meeting with your supervisor or HR representative. Clearly communicate your mental health condition, its impact on your work, and the accommodations you are requesting. Be prepared to provide any necessary medical documentation to support your request.
  4. 4. Collaborate on Solutions: Engage in a collaborative discussion with your employer to find mutually agreeable solutions. Your employer may have questions or concerns, and it’s important to address them openly. The goal is to find accommodations that allow you to perform your job effectively while considering the employer’s operational needs.
  5. 5. Document Everything: Keep thorough records of all communications related to your accommodation request. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence in case of any disputes or misunderstandings in the future.


Navigating mental health accommodations in the workplace requires a combination of self-advocacy, knowledge of legal rights, and effective communication. The ADA serves as a powerful tool to protect employees with mental health conditions, ensuring they have the opportunity to thrive in their professional lives. By approaching the accommodation request process with clarity, openness, and collaboration, employees can work towards creating a supportive work environment that accommodates mental health needs while maintaining productivity and professional success. If you feel that your employer has not been working with you in granting accommodations or if they are retaliating against you for requesting accommodations, be sure to consult an employment attorney to see what, if any, options you may have. 

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Photo of Marcos De Hoyos Marcos De Hoyos

We asked Marcos D. De Hoyos, a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more abreast with the understanding and competency that Mr.

We asked Marcos D. De Hoyos, a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more abreast with the understanding and competency that Mr. De Hoyos brings.

  1. Why did you start practicing labor and employment law?

It’s fulfilling work. Employment law is one of the few areas of law where you can actually make a difference and an impact in the lives of people. One of the most rewarding feelings is knowing that the work I do each day has a meaningful impact in the community.

  1. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?

Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.

  1. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?

The lawyer. The client could have a stellar case, but without a good lawyer, that case isn’t going anywhere. You need a passionate, active, and knowledgeable lawyer to make the right decisions and ensure that the case, regardless of how viable it is, gets the shot it deserves.

  1. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?

While in college, I was a barista at a small, local coffeeshop, so while I argue your case, I can also make you a killer shot of espresso to boot.

  1. What skills do you value as an employment attorney?

The ability to adapt. As a lawyer, you’re constantly faced with situations that you didn’t expect or anticipate, and you have to learn to adapt to the situation as it unfolds. Persuasiveness and attentiveness are also a few skills I think are important to being successful in law.

  1. If you were not practicing labor and employment law what would you be?

In another life, I would most likely be an English or Philosophy professor.

  1. How do you market yourself differently than others?

I did not have the privilege of growing up in a family of lawyers. I was the only person in my family to earn a law degree, and I had to learn the law tooth and nail. I understand how complicated and daunting the law can be to someone who hasn’t studied it, so along with providing advocacy, I also like to make sure that clients understand the law, so that they aren’t left tackling their problems in the dark.

  1. What do you do when you’re not practicing law?

You can usually find me reading fiction or philosophy at the local coffee shop, going for a hike or run, or touring one of the many museums or art galleries in town.

  1. What’s your favorite legal TV show

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

  1. Who do you most admire as a lawyer?

The client. Taking on big companies and corporations is daunting, especially when you haven’t studied law. It takes courage to take a stand and to fight for what you are owed. I really admire that about my clients. They know going in that it’s going to be tough, but they choose to fight anyway, and that takes guts.

Marcos D. De Hoyos is a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy with a Minor in English. Mr. De Hoyos went on and received his law degree from Vanderbilt University.