Can I Be Fired or Refused A Job Because Of A Health Condition?
At Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC., our experienced discrimination attorneys provide aggressive representation to people who have been fired, refused a job, or mistreated at work because of their disability or health condition.
Disability discrimination occurs when an employee, or job applicant, is treated unfairly by an employer because they have a disability. Under the ADA, disability is defined as:
- A person who has a mental or physical condition that limits a major life activity.
- A person who has had a history of a disability.
- A person who is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory and minor.
If a supervisor or co-worker is constantly making offensive comments about your disability or medical condition, this can create a hostile work environment. Additionally, it may be unlawful for an employer to refuse your request for time off or terminate you for taking time off because of your disability or medical condition.
Even if you have a history of a disability, it is unlawful for any employer or entity covered by the applicable state and federal anti- discrimination laws to treat you less favorably because of a history od a medical condition or disability.
The ADA also states that when requested, employers must provide disabled employees with a reasonable accommodation. Under the federal law, reasonable accommodation is defined as a change in the work environment to assist a person with a disability in applying for the job or carrying out their job function. A reasonable accommodation is required for the identified physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified employee or job applicant. In other words, some circumstances require an employer to provide a change in the work environment or application process to ensure that qualified employees with a disability are treated fairly.
The only justification for an employer’s refusal to provide a reasonable accommodation is that the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the employer. An example of an undue hardship would be that the requested accommodation is too expensive or difficult to provide in the context of the employer’s need or size. Nevertheless, an employer cannot fail to provide a reasonable accommodation, refuse someone a job, or fire someone who requested an accommodation merely because it involves an expense.
Know Your Rights
Employees who feel they have experienced discrimination or harassment based on a disability need to know that they have employment rights and recourse to any workplace discrimination they have suffered. Civil rights laws reflect our country’s commitment to basic human rights and extend to your workplace. Under these laws, like the ADA and applicable state anti- discrimination laws, we can help protect the rights of those who have been subjected to discrimination or harassment.
Federal laws like the New York Human Rights Law, New York City Human Rights Law, New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and Florida Civil Rights Act also have provisions that make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants based on a disability.
Know your rights in the workplace! An employer cannot discriminate against employees and job applicants in areas such as:
- Recruitment, the arrangement for determining who should be offered employment
- Hiring, the determination who should be offered employment
- Compensation, the decision of the terms and conditions on which employment is offered
- Working Conditions, the terms, and conditions on which the contract worker can work
- Advancement, the provision of access to opportunities for promotion, transfer, training or other benefits associated with employment
- Termination, the determination of which employees are dismissed
- Severance, the determination of the financial terms to be given to employment upon departure
When unlawful conduct affects an individual’s job performance, employment status, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, we can file a lawsuit on behalf of the injured party.
If you feel like you’ve been discriminated or wrongfully terminated against based on your disability, or if you believe that your employer engaged in unlawful employment practices, consult with an experienced Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC attorneys.