Do I have a discrimination case regarding being fired due to being out for mental health issues?

I was fired for calling out due to a severe mental breakdown for which I sought behavioral health services. My employer said that I quit by not coming in despite my properly calling out ahead. Later they reduced my 2 last paychecks to minimum wage without notice. My boss just texted me and said if she would have known I had mental health issues, she wouldn’t have hired me. Her husband sent messages of how mental health doesn’t prevent me from working and if I didn’t come in I was fired.

Asked on February 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you did not call out properly, under an employer policy which allows you to call ourt of work and in full compliance with the rules for doing so, then you may be terminated: there is no protection for missing work without using FMLA leave, PTO, or calling out under a call-out policy, and employees who miss work without doing one of these things may be terminated, even if they were seeking medical care.
If you did call out properly under a policy allowing you to call out, then this may be disability-based discrimination, since so long as you comply with policy, you may not be terminated for having a mental illness or needing treatment. IF you think this was the case, contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency about filing a complaint.


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