Have You Been Wrongfully Terminated Due To A Disability?
If you have any disability, your employer must offer you a reasonable accommodation. But this is not always the case. Some employers discriminate, fire employees based on their disability. If this happens, one may have a claim against their employer.
Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil right law that protects individuals with disabilities in any areas of public life. When it comes to employment, employee and job applicants have their share of protection as well. Nevertheless, not everyone enjoys this protection. It’s advisable to be aware of the employment law in Orange County. This will ensure your employer doesn’t take advantage of your condition. If you have a disability and are qualified for your job, then you are protected. Under the ADA, an employee or a job applicant is protected if:
- Suffering from a physical or mental disability: Such disability must limit you from a major life activity such as speaking, hearing, taking care of oneself, seeing, among others.
- If you have a history of such a disability
- If your employer believes you to have such a disability even if you don’t
In most cases, employees don’t know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to the ADA. As long as an employee can perform their job, whether they have any reasonable accommodation or not, their employer is not obligated to fire them based on their disability. If you believe your employer has wrongfully terminated you based on your disability, make haste to speak to an employment lawyer. But it’s worth noting that the federal ADA acts apply to employers who have more than 15 employees. If you work for a smaller employer, your protection rights will use though the state’s disability discrimination law. For you to be protected under the ADA, you must prove that:
- You have the requirements for the job, such as skills, experiences, etc.
- You can perform the duties with or without any reasonable accommodation: An employer should not fail to hire any qualified applicant because their disability prevents them from performing duties not essential to the job.
Your employer should not consider your disability when making decisions such as job assignments, benefits, promotions, or any other condition related to employment.
Failure To Provide Reasonable Accommodation
Any employee with a disability should have reasonable accommodation. Meaning, there should be changes made or assistance provided to the employee to work comfortably despite their disability. Some of the reasonable accommodation includes:
- Adjustment of working equipment: For instance, if you use a wheelchair, your employer should ensure to lower the height of your computer.
- Providing hearing aids: If you’re a job applicant who has a hearing loss, your employer should give a written test or a sign language interpreter to help you through the interview.
- Job reassignment
- Modified work procedures
If your employer fires you based on your disability, this would be an excellent ground to file a wrongful termination claim. For you to have a reasonable accommodation, you must request it from your employer. This is because your employer is not the one to guess you have a disability. You can do this through a reasonable accommodation letter. If everything concerning your disability is known to your employer, but still they fail to provide reasonable accommodation and fires you instead, you may have a wrongful termination claim due to disability
Reasons Why You May File A Wrongful Termination Claim Based On Disability
There are many reasons an employee or an applicant may be discriminated against. Some of them include:
- Your employer made negative comments concerning your mental or physical disability.
- You were treated differently from other employees without disability; such as being denied time off work will others have such requests granted.
- Your employer fired you because you requested for time off work for medical care due to your disability.
- You got fired after your employer learned of your disability.
With the above, you can file a discrimination charge against your employer. Nevertheless, before coming up with such a decision, it’s better to speak with an experienced employment lawyer and learn whether you have a claim. Your lawyer will guide you to file the administrative charge with the relevant government agency. After that, you may request for a right to sue letter. This is after you have met all the qualifications needed when filing an administrative charge. If your case becomes successful, you can be assured to receive monetary damages such as getting your wages back, front pay if it’s likely you will stay for some time without a job, emotional distress, or punitive damages. You may be limited to the monetary damages you can collect for your future job search or cost-related to searching for a new job. Nevertheless, getting an experienced lawyer will be the key to a successful wrongful termination and disability claim.