If I put in my 2 weeks notice due to having asthma but was then fired the same day because I was wearing a mask provided by the company to protect from dust, do I have any rights?

What do I do? Should I file a wrongful termination suit or a claim with the EEOC?

Asked on October 28, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Firing you for wearing company provided mask to protect from dust was very likely disability-based discrimination and could give rise to a legal claim: employers have an obligation to make "reasonable accommodations" for employees with disabilities, and letting you wear a mask to avoid dust would generally be a reasonable accommodation. (Exception: if you were in a dust free environment and the mask could disturb customers--e.g. if instead of working on a renovation or factory floor, you were a receptionist in an office or a sales rep visiting customer offices, where wearing a dust mask was unnecessary and inappropriate.) 
However, you write that you had already given your notice. Two-week notice is a custom or tradition, not law: the employer could treat your notice as effective immediately. Even if that were not so in this case, if you'd already given 2 week notice, the most you'd be entitled to is two weeks of pay--the two weeks you'd have worked had they not terminated you. d on what you write, it is very unlikely to be worth taking legal action.


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