Discrimination due to mental illness

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder about 20- years ago. I take
medication daily and see my doctor every 6 weeks.
Last week I had an really bad anxiety attack due to stress from an unstable work
environment and lack of help occurring over the last month. Ive been employed
with her since Feb 2017. She gave me the days I needed off and I also confided in
her about my mental health. I felt it was somehting I could do.
I returned to work and was terminated today. I was told my performance was
lacking and I was a threat to her business. I feel like if I didnt tell her about
my mental disability I would not have been replaced and terminated with out

Asked on September 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, did you do or have any of the following:
1) have poor performance or performance issues at work?
2) miss any work without prior permission to be out or without using either paid time off (e.g. sick or vacation days) you had earned or FMLA leave (if you and your employer were both covered by FMLA; you can find the rules for FMLA on the U.S.  Dept. of Labor website)?
3) act inappropriately or disruptively at work, or say anything to your boss or coworker that might make then reasonably (it must be "reasonably") perceive you as a threat?
If the answer to any of the above is "yes," you were most likely legally terminated for one or more of poor performance, absenteeism, or disrupting the workplace; all are legitimate grounds for termination even if the cause of this behavior is rooted in a mental condition. An employer does not have to accept disruption, poor performance, or absenteeism.
If the answer to all three above is "no," then this may very well have been illegal disability-based discriminaton (mental illness is a disability)--you can't be terminated simply for having a condition or illness. If you think this was the case, contact the federal  EEOC to discuss filing a complaint.

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