When Your Worker Is SAD

More than the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder is a serious medical condition that may require accommodation

By Dana Wilkie Jan 21, 2016

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It’s winter, and your normally prompt, productive and positive employee is showing up late, seems lethargic and forgetful, lacks enthusiasm for assignments, and appears agitated by innocuous things.

Is it just a simple case of the post-holiday blues—something that may resolve itself in a few weeks? Or could it be something more serious and persistent, like seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

The Mayo Clinic classifies seasonal affective disorder as a type of depression. The American Psychological Association calls it a serious medical condition related to changes in the season and a shortage of sunlight. Because the condition is recognized under disability law, employers may need to grant accommodations to employees with SAD.

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