The Cornell Just-in-Time Toolkit for Managers

Tips, checklists, and resources to help managers lead a disability inclusive workforce.

Topic #9
An Employee Might Have a Psychiatric Disability or Addiction:
Thinking It Through


Cornell University Resources

Human Resources Leadership

The Division of Human Resources and Safety Services fosters a safe, secure environment where the students, staff and faculty of Cornell can learn, work and live as a community to advance the university’s mission and purpose.  If you need support to address disability related issues for the staff you supervise, contact your HR representative:

Questions about working with people with disabilities?

Your local HR Manager at Cornell can support managers and employees with any questions they have regarding working with people with disabilities.

Medical Leaves Administration

Medical Leaves Administration in the Division of Human Resources at Cornell University helps coordinate many resources that can enhance the health and well-being of all faculty and staff and maximize the quality of working life while minimizing the impact of illness and disability.  At Cornell University, Medical Leaves Administration is responsible for providing disability accommodations and securing medical documentation of disability.  To initiate a disability accommodation at Cornell University contact Medical Leaves Administration:

Phone: (607) 255-1177

TTY:  (607) 255-7066


Disability Policy

Staff from Medical Leaves Administration are always willing to meet with faculty and staff regarding any medical leave or disability accommodation issues. In order to initiate a request for disability accommodation, you may fill out the Cover Page and Medical Verification Form and return those to Medical Leaves. However, if you would rather speak with someone from Medical Leaves before submitting a request, please contact us and we will be happy to further discuss your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Disability Accommodation Process

This site provides answers to common questions about the disability accommodation process at Cornell University.

Faculty Staff Assistance Program

FSAP's professional staff offers free and confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance. The FSAP is part of Cornell's broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.

Flexible Workplace Policy

Cornell University provides flexible work arrangements, at the discretion of department heads or their designees, to enable staff and management to serve customers well, meet university goals, and balance personal and professional responsibilities.

Diverse Communities

Cornell strives to create an environment that supports all aspects of diversity. The following programs and resources are available to support the specific needs of Cornell's diverse communities.

Disability Information

Cornell University is committed to diversity and inclusiveness with the goal of providing an accessible, usable and welcoming environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors with disabilities. This website serves as a resource and central clearinghouse on disability-related information for the Cornell community.

Commuter and Parking Services for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities

Cornell is continually working to improve accessibility on campus for all individuals.

Technical Assistance

The ADA Center National Network

The ADA Center National Network consists of ten regional centers that provide the most complete up-to-date information, referrals, resources and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This Network serves a variety of users:  businesses, employers, government entities, individuals and the media. 

Enforcement Guidance: Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This federal document provides an overview of the ADA’s requirements around when and how employers can ask employees about possible disabilities

Disability and HR: Tips for Human Resource Professionals

This series of free, downloadable briefs cover a wide range of topics related to disability and employment, including diversity, accommodation, unions, quality assurance, safety issues and others.

Disability Statistics

This Cornell University site offers a rich variety of statistics around many aspects of disability in the U.S.  In addition to getting prevalence and employment data, there is information about disability-related employment charges from EEOC and state/county level data around types of disabilities.

Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Partnership for Workplace Mental Health

This website gives an overview of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program formed in partnership with employers and the American Psychiatric Association.  The site gives updates of how managers can help workplace mental health during our stressful economy, workplace and mental health laws and current research on workplace and mental health issues.

Accommodation Ideas for Mental Health Impairments

Accommodation and Compliance Series:  Employees with Mental Health Impairments;this Job Accommodation Network online document provides managers with suggestions for accommodating employees with mental health impairments.  The document also provides an overview of psychiatric disability in the workplace and general considerations for managers.

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Alcoholism

Accommodation and Compliance Series:  Employees with Alcoholism; this Job Accommodation Network online document provides an overview of the legal and workplace issues in dealing with employees who have alcoholism. 

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Drug Addiction

Accommodation and Compliance Series:  Employees with Drug Addiction; this Job Accommodation Network online document provides an overview of the legal and workplace issues in dealing with employees with drug addiction.  This document includes issues about implementing workplace drug policies and drug testing.