Recently Disparti Law Group successfully reinstated a health care worker after filing an EEOC Charge for disability discrimination. Disparti Law Group claimed that the worker’s termination for disability-related reasons was not based on “true essential functions,” but, rather, the task that the employer claimed she could not perform was only a marginal, little-performed task that could easily be done by another worker without consequence to the company.
After Disparti filed its charge and made this very argument, the company backed off and reinstated the worker to her prior position with an accommodation. This is just an example of the kind of aggressive, knowledgeable representation that Disparti Employment Lawyers can take in handling even complex disability discrimination cases.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL TERMINATION?
Wrongful termination is a general legal term that includes a wide-range of wrongful employer conduct, from race, gender, and religious discrimination, to whistleblower retaliation, to reprisals for filing workers’ compensation claims, to retaliation for union or safety-activity. Each of these areas has different procedures that need to be followed before and while pursuing a claim, and each requires different kinds and mounts of evidence to prove. If you think you have suffered discrimination or retaliation, it is important to seek legal advice immediately because there are strict timelines within which you must file to preserve your claim.
One very common form of wrongful termination that sadly often goes unchallenged is disability discrimination. These cases often go unchallenged because of the complexity of the Family Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, two laws that provide workers key rights in this area.
In such cases, more often than not, an employee will suffer an on-the-job injury and be fired when an employer claims that the employee can no longer perform the essential functions of the job due to their disability. Many workers are shocked to learn that employers may actually terminate employees if it is true that the injury prevents the employee from performing essential job functions.
FIGHTING BACK AGAINST WRONGFUL TERMINATION
There are ways to fight back. For example, an employee may be able to request a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act based on their disability and obtain up to 400 hours per year off to recover. Provided the employee has worked for the employer for 1,250 hours in the prior year, and worked for the employer for at least one year, the employer generally cannot deny the request for family medical leave. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that an employer provide a reasonable accommodation for disabilities that would enable an injured employee to continue working.
Another way of combatting wrongful termination based on disability-related issues is to challenge your employer’s claim as to what constitute “essential job functions.” For example, if your employer says that you cannot perform essential functions due to an injury, a good approach would be to ask yourself: are those really “essential functions” of the job I was doing? Surprisingly, many times an employer claims a particular function is “essential” when, in fact, from the law’s standpoint, it is not essential. In such instances, it would more than likely also be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for the employer to fire you on the basis of false or untrue “essential functions.
LARRY WINS WRONGFUL TERMINATION CASES
With over $1 Billion in recoveries for our clients, the Disparti Law Group knows how to win! If you have been wrongfully terminated or having other problems with your employer, contact our Chicago Employment Lawyers today and find out why thousands of our clients say, Larry Wins!