Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, workers with health conditions here in South Florida cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. Rather, in most cases, their employers must make accommodations as needed. Of course, employers do not always comply with the ADA and this results in very unnecessary and difficult consequences for employees.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one Florida man who suffers from a kidney disorder was recently fired from his employer because of this–resulting in the loss of his health insurance, and thus his spot on a kidney transplant waitlist. The EEOC has now filed a lawsuit against his former employer.
The man, 32, was fired a few days after telling his supervisors that he would be able to perform self-dialysis at work, during his breaks, so that he would be able to keep his job while he awaited a kidney transplant.
His company maintained that it was letting him go due to the economy. However, only four workers had been fired for this reason, and they were all terminated four months before this man.
The man had worked for this employer for 10 years; it was his first job.
Sometimes, companies here in Florida may be tempted to fire employees who have health conditions in order to avoid related business costs like sick time. It is important that employers realize this is not only dishonorable but also illegal. Furthermore the EEOC, and employees with the assistance of employment law attorneys, often hold employers accountable for such actions, resulting in costly settlements and negative publicity.
Source: Fox News, “Lawsuit claims man lost his job due to medical condition,” Sept. 26, 2012
- Our firm handles cases like the one mentioned in this post. To learn more, please visit our Florida Employment Law page.