If you have a disability, your employer must make reasonable accommodations to ensure that you can do your job. Reasonable accommodations may include coming into work at a later hour, working from home where it is quieter or turning down the lights to avoid triggering a migraine. In the event that you are terminated because of your disability, it may be possible to take legal action against your employer.
Take a Step Back and Think
You don’t want to accuse your employer of wrongful termination if you can’t prove your claim. At a minimum, a lack of evidence will result in a claim being dismissed quickly and with prejudice. Furthermore, making what is seen as a baseless claim could have negative repercussions for your future career prospects. Therefore, it is important to consider the reason for your termination and whether it is justified by your previous employment record. If so, you may want to avoid taking legal action.
When in Doubt, Get Advice From an Expert
An attorney may be able to review the facts in a case to determine if you were fired for a legitimate reason. For instance, if you had no prior written warnings or other complaints from a manager prior to your termination, it may be fair to suspect that disability discrimination had something to do with it. Getting advice from an attorney will help you figure out what your rights are and whether or not they have been violated. Attorneys know all the ins and outs of the law, and they will be able to help guide you in the right direction in terms of what you should do.
What to Do About It
You can be fired for a variety of legitimate reasons, which your employer might try to hide behind, but even in “employment at will” states, discrimination is still illegal. Discrimination is very illegal regardless of whether you were fired because of a disability or other protected attributes such as your race or national origin. If you were terminated while a member of a protected class, the first step may be to try to come to a settlement with your employer. You can also file a lawsuit seeking damages such as lost wages or expenses related to finding a new job. Filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may also help you get a favorable resolution in your case.
As a general rule, employment decisions cannot be made solely on the basis of a person’s disability. Therefore, your employer cannot choose not to hire, promote or demote you simply because you’re disabled. If that does happen, don’t hesitate to talk with an attorney or file a charge with the EEOC.
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