It Just Doesn’t Add Up: ADHD/ADD, The Workplace and Discrimination

Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 34, No, 2, 2010

33 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2011 Last revised: 5 Dec 2012

See all articles by Bruce Arnold

Bruce Arnold

University of Canberra

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Simon Rice

Professor of Law, The University of Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia – Australian Discrimination Law Experts Group

Simon Easteal

Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Standard workplace conditions that are commonly perceived as neutral and reasonable can discriminate against people who find conforming to them difficult or impossible because of innate differences in neuronal and cognitive functioning. We use the example of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to show that it is necessary for people with cognitive differences to seek legal protection from discrimination within a disability framework. This approach can be problematic because of the stigma that attaches to disability and because of the way that provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) are interpreted. An alternative approach is to treat cognitive and behavioural attributes within a framework that recognises different abilities, rather than starting from a presumptive provision of disability, in much the same way that gender or religious beliefs are treated.

Keywords: ADHD and Workplace, ADHD and Discrimination, ADHD and Reasonable Accommodation

JEL Classification: K00, I00, I10, J70, J71

Suggested Citation

Arnold, Bruce and Easteal, Patricia L. and Rice, Simon and Easteal, Simon, It Just Doesn’t Add Up: ADHD/ADD, The Workplace and Discrimination (2010). Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 34, No, 2, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743879

Bruce Arnold

University of Canberra ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Simon Rice

Professor of Law, The University of Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia – Australian Discrimination Law Experts Group ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Simon Easteal

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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