Under the ADA, employers can enforce conduct standards that are job related and consistent with business necessity, but may need to consider what kinds of accommodations may be effective in enabling employees to meet those standards. Because employees with personality disorders may be more likely to have problems getting along with others and following workplace rules, employers may need to address such issues from a conduct standpoint.
For example, an employee with histrionic personality disorder may be overly physical with certain coworkers, an employee with border personality disorder may decide impulsively to leave work in the middle of the day, or an employee with schizoid personality disorder may treat coworkers or customers in a manner that seems rude or mean. In cases such as these, the employer has the right to enforce conduct standards. The following are suggestions to consider concerning how to address the behavior and conduct of an employee with a personality disorder:
Provide clear expectations concerning behavior and conduct
Provide additional training to encourage appropriate behavior in social settings
Provide quick and clear feedback when a conduct problem arises
Provide concrete examples of what is considered appropriate and inappropriate when a problem arises
For more information concerning performance and conduct issues, please see our publication on the topic at http://askjan.org/topics/condandperf.htm.