Is making fun of my medical condition allowable in the workplace?

First off I have epilepsy. My assistant manager uses it to make me feel inferior and has told me privately that I should not be working there. She belittles me on a daily basis and has told me to

Asked on June 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While an employer could legally take you off work which you could not safely do if you have epilepsy, such as heavy equipment operator or bus driver, that is not the situation you describe: you do not mention any real negative effect or impact on, or risks to/at, work. When a medical condition does not have a direct and real effect on work, an employer may not discriminate against you for having a condition--and not discriminating includes not harassing you, not belittling or mocking you, and not insulting you in front of other employees, etc. It is illegal under federal (national) law to discriminate against or harass employees due to disabilities or medical conditions.
If your employer does not take effective action to stop this behavior after you have put upper management or HR, etc. on notice of it, they may implicate themselves in the discriminatory conduct, by allowing it. In that case, if the employer will not help you, you could contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, to file a disability-based discrimination complaint.


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