Mental Health Discrimination: A rising risk for employers

Nicole A. Eichberger
Atoyia S. Harris
Jessica L. Guarracino
Nicole A. Eichberger | Proskauer Rose LLP
Atoyia S. Harris | Proskauer Rose LLP
Jessica L. Guarracino | Proskauer Rose LLP
On-Demand: May 5, 2022

$245.00 3 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Mental health is the latest emergent issue for employers due to recent events such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting recession, and other factors like the perpetual display of racial injustices in the media. Increased public awareness and a shift in public perception related to mental health indicate an increase in mental health concerns and claims raised by job applicants and employees, including potential discrimination claims. Please join Proskauer attorneys Nici Eichberger, Atoyia Harris, and Jessica Guarracino for a timely CLE webinar discussing mental health discrimination, the risk these claims pose to employers, and how you can help prepare your clients to mitigate their risk.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • The current impact of mental health on society
  • Federal regulations governing mental health claims
  • Recent trends with respect to mental health discrimination claims
  • Steps employers can undertake to mitigate their risk with respect to mental health claims

Date / Time: May 5, 2022

  • 1:00 pm – 4:20 pm Eastern
  • 12:00 pm – 3:20 pm Central
  • 11:00 am – 2:20 pm Mountain
  • 10:00 am – 1:20 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Nicole-A.-Eichberger_-Proskauer-Rose-LLP_myLawCLENicole A. Eichberger | Proskauer Rose LLP

Nicole A. Eichberger is a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Department and head of the New Orleans office. She is a member of the Class & Collective Actions and Wage and Hour Groups. Nici is an experienced trial lawyer and represents clients in all types of employment-related matters, from single-plaintiff and complex employment to large, complex class and collective actions alleging discrimination, non-compete violations, and wage and hour disputes.

Nici has significant experience assisting clients in the defense of numerous class and collective actions. She frequently counsels employers, fiduciaries, and trustees on employment, wage and hour and benefit issues.

In addition to her litigation practice, Nici assists in conducting workplace investigations and audits related to discrimination, managerial training, non-competes and employee classification. She is adept to counseling clients on a wide array of issues including reviewing and drafting employee handbooks, wage and hour issues, employee leave and training policies.

She is a member of the Firm’s eDiscovery Group and advises clients on eDiscovery matters, including day-to-day preservation, investigations and litigation strategies.

Nici recently completed a three-year term was on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service and serves as the Pro Bono Co-Coordinator for Proskauer’s New Orleans office. She is a prolific writer, frequently contributing to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace Blog and a sought-after speaker on collective/class action topics.


Atoyia-S.-Harris_Proskauer-Rose-LLP_myLawCLEAtoyia S. Harris | Proskauer Rose LLP

Atoyia Harris is a specialist employment law counsel in the Labor and Employment Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Counseling Group. With bench trial, jury trial, and administrative hearing experience, Atoyia approaches each matter strategically to provide the best result for her clients. She has successfully defended matters on a wide variety of issues.

Atoyia advises clients and conducts investigations and trainings on issues related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Her practice also includes counseling clients on reductions-in-force, Covid-19 related matters, issues arising out of social movements including Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, and other sensitive employment issues.

Atoyia is co-chair of the Firm’s Black Lawyers Affinity Group, serves as a member of the Firm’s Associate Council, and is on the Proskauer Women’s Alliance Steering Committee.

Active in the New Orleans legal community, Atoyia is a member of the Young Lawyers Board for the Federal Bar Association’s New Orleans Chapter and other organizations. She is also a member of the national Defense Research Institute’s Membership Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Planning Committee.

Atoyia received her J.D. with an International Law Certification from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Atoyia served as the Moot Court Selection Chair and staff member of the Loyola Law and Technology Journal. While in law school, Atoyia interned as a law clerk for the Honorable Jay C. Zainey at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Honorable Robin Giarrusso at the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. Atoyia was also a member of the award-wining Robert F. Wagner Labor and Employment Moot Court Team.

Prior to law school, Atoyia received her Bachelor of Music in Industry Studies with emphasis in classical piano from Loyola University New Orleans and was member of the Loyola University women’s basketball team.


Jessica-L.-Guarracino_Proskauer-Rose-LLP_myLawCLEJessica L. Guarracino | Proskauer Rose LLP

Jessica Guarracino is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Jessica graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, where she was a Comments Editor of the Seton Hall Law Review and a member of the Interscholastic Moot Court Board. During law school, Jessica worked as a student attorney in the Impact Litigation Clinic, where she represented indigent clients in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and as an intern to the Honorable Michael J. Shipp of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Prior to joining the firm, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jaynee LaVecchia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


I. Current State of Mental Health | 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

a. Increase of Mental Health Awareness | 1:00 pm – 1:10 pm
b. Mental Health by the Numbers | 1:10 pm – 1:20 pm
c. The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health | 1:20 pm – 1:35 pm
d. Mental Health in the Legal Profession | 1:35 pm – 1:45 pm

II. Federal Legislation Regulating Mental Health Employment Claims | 1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

a. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) | 1:45 pm – 1:55 pm
b. Accommodations Under the ADA | 1:55 pm – 2:00 pm

Break | 2:00 pm – 2:10 pm

c. The ADA and the Direct Threat Defense | 2:10 pm – 2:15 pm
d. The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) | 2:15 pm – 2:20 pm
e. Intersection of the FMLA and the ADA | 2:20 pm – 2:30 pm

III. Recent Developments | 2:30 pm – 3:10 pm

a. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission | 2:30 pm – 2:45 pm
b. High Stakes and Unpredictable Outcomes | 2:45 pm – 3:00 pm
c. Recent Decisions | 3:00 pm – 3:10 pm

Break | 3:10 pm – 3:20 pm

IV. Mitigating Risk in the Workplace | 3:20 pm – 4:10 pm

a. Create Open Door and Safe Environment for Mental Health | 3:20 pm – 3:30 pm
b. Implement Policies, Benefits, and Training for Supervisors | 3:30 pm – 3:40 pm
c. Develop and Maintain Standard Document Procedure | 3:40 pm – 3:50 pm
d. Establish Uniform Practices for Accommodation Requests | 3:50 pm – 4:00 pm
e. Mitigation in Practice | 4:00 pm – 4:10 pm

V. Questions | 4:10 pm – 4:20 pm