Can a company fire a cancer ridden employee losing their battle?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a company fire a cancer ridden employee losing their battle?

My friend is stage 4…can hardly breathe with oxygen….she is 51 and was daignsed 6 mths ago. Company wants to teminate her this week. She loses benefits and her life insurance

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

She can't be terminated because she is sick: doing so is likely a violation of the law (e.g. the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA) and she may have a legal claim for compensation. If she is fired because she is sick, she should contact the EEOC to file a complaint.
But being sick or even terminal does not mean you cannot be terminated for other, independent reasons. She could be terminated for poor performance, for absenteeism or lateness, for insubordination or violating company policy, or as part of a layoff, restructuring, or reduction in force, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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