Firing for “Health Reasons” Can be Interpreted as Disability Bias
This blog is for employers and employees alike. As an impartial blogger it’s my duty to disperse useful information in an objective fashion. Nevertheless, employees should realize that they may be entitled to some money if they were fired for health reasons; employers ought to know that firing an employee for health reasons will result in a potential disability suit.
A recent case that made its way to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that checking “health reasons” on an employee termination form can be construed as disability discrimination. In this case, a woman working in retail suffered traumatic brain trauma which impaired her ability to perform her job. The store terminated the employee because she could not perform the job’s required tasks. The decision maker at the retail outlet included thirty five other reasons for the termination of the employee. But the court ultimately ruled in the employee’s favor and awarded her a sum of money in the six figure zone.
Employers ought to know that you can fire a disabled employee for performance reasons, as long as the employee fails to perform the essential functions of their job with or without reasonable accommodation. However, when health reasons come in to play, there is a possibility that a discrimination case will ensue. So, employers take heed of this warning.
For employees, who are much more important to defend than employers, you should know your rights, and understand that you may be entitled to compensation. If you are involved in a catastrophic accident, don’t let your employer throw you to the wolves. It’s bad enough that the woman above suffered brain damage, but to lose her job and livelihood in the wake of an accident is unbearably unfortunate. Don’t let yourself wallow in the valley of tears. Consult an attorney if you have been victimized by an employer.