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Fired Due to Disability? What Now?

Finding work as an able-bodied person can be difficult. Finding a job as a disabled person can be a battle. If you’ve been let go from your job and you think it may be because you’re disabled, that’s discrimination, and there are avenues you can pursue.

Who is covered by the American Disability Act?

Put in place in 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination for people with disabilities in all areas of their life, including their jobs. A disabled individual is entitled to equal opportunity for a job they are qualified for. This includes maintaining the position regardless of their disability. California has similar laws and protections.

There are protections if the employee requires accommodations, so long as they are reasonable. This includes things such as handicap access, allowance for accessories that are beneficial to the employee, and taking medical leave.

What constitutes a disability?

Under the ADA, any physical or mental impairment that causes substantial limitations in life activities qualifies as a disability. As long as you can do the job you were hired for, you are protected regardless of disability.

Can an employer fire someone with a disability?

Yes, they can. But the termination must be unrelated to the disability. It must be based on job performance, or an inability to provide reasonable accommodations without undue financial stress (which they must prove). A disabled employee may also be fired if their disability causes health or safety risks to others.

What should I do if I think I’ve been fired due to my disability?

Because proving that your termination is linked to your disability can be challenging, there are a few steps you can do as you pursue further action.

  • If you’re able, save any paperwork or emails regarding the termination.

  • Save any emails that contain commentary on your disability from colleagues, including jokes or any harassment you may have suffered.

  • Make a journal of what happened leading up to termination.

The ADA and other laws do protect you, but they are complex and scary to navigate alone. If you think you’ve been discriminated against, contact The Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman to speak with an employment lawyer and discuss your claim. Call 415-545-8608 to schedule your FREE consultation.

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