Can I sue a nonprofit for ADA violation? Is this?

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Can I sue a nonprofit for ADA violation? Is this?

Been on out on disability for 1 month and My return date is 1 month from now. Gave
positive update and was met with a phone call letting me know I had been severed.
No conversation or discussion of accommodations Which there would be very little
of. Feel very blindsided. Stated business reasons. Very solid performance
evaluation prior to leave.

We are a 40 person nonprofit with outsourced HR. Now I lose health insurance as
welll?? Thoughts on next steps? Thank you

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether there was an valid, non-disability-discrimination-related reason for your termination. IF they were downsizing or restructuring, for example, they could terminate you as part of that, notwithstanding any disability. If you stayed out for longer than you would have allowed to be out (for example: if a 40 person entity, you were not eligible for FMLA, which only applies to employers with at least 50 employees, so if you missed more work than you had paid time off [PTO] to cover, you may have had unexcused absences), you could be terminated for that reason: disability is not a reason to freely miss more work than your PTO or leave laws permit you to miss. If you violated company policy in some way, that could also provide reason to terminate you. So if there was some valid reason not connected to disability, you could be terminated; having a disability protects you from termination for the disability, but not due to other reasons.
On the other hand, if there was no non-disability reason, then this may well have been illegal disability-related discrimination and you have a viable legal claim. If you think that was the case--there was no valid non-disability reason--contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint, or speak to an employment law attorney about possibly suing.


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