New guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission tell employers how they are supposed to treat workers or applicants with mental disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The guidance is directed primarily at investigators and lawyers in court cases involving claims by mentally ill individuals.Among other things, employers may have to allow extra time off from work or alter schedules and make physical changes in the workplace for an employee with a mental illness.

However, the guidelines say they don't have to lower performance standards for people suffering such disorders as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and personality disorder.