Does my employer have the legal right to terminate me due to a disability?

I have been employed by the same organization for 24 years. During the last 7 years I was diagnosed with a lung disease that progressively has gotten worse to the point where I must be on an oxygen machine 24 hours a day and walking even short distances leaves me winded and out of breath. Last week my employer told me that he had to lay me off due to cutbacks and because I am unable to pack, lift and bring to the storage room the documents that I am responsible for. I believe that this is because of my disability, which has been accommodated for the last 7 years.

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states as well as federal law (Americans With Disabilities Act) your employer cannot terminate you due to the disabilty that you have. Rather, your employer must accomodate your disability assuming the employer is on strong financial footing and does not need to make cutbacks.

I suggest that you consult with a labor law attorney and/or a representative with your local department of labor to discuss what your legal options may be.


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