EEOC Issues Workplace Guidelines for Epilepsy

July 28, 2004 ( - Employers got some guidance Wednesday about the workplace rights of epileptics under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The fact sheet issued by the USEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), further explains:

  • when epilepsy is a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA
  • when employers may ask applicants and employees about their epilepsy
  • reasonable accommodations that some people with epilepsy may need to work, including: breaks to take medication, leave to seek treatment, a private area to rest after a seizure, and a rubber mat to cushion a fall.
  • how employers should deal with safety concerns that they may have about employees with epilepsy.

“Epilepsy does not hinder a person’s ability to be a productive employee or compromise safety in the workplace,” said Commission Chair Cari Dominguez. “Too often, however, individuals with epilepsy are still denied job opportunities because of misperceptions and fears about this condition.”

According to an EEOC news release, the Epilepsy Foundation and other organizations point out that most people with epilepsy will probably never have a seizure on the job and people with epilepsy do not have more accidents on the job or raise an employer’s insurance premiums.