Can they legally fire me for passing out our work?

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Can they legally fire me for passing out our work?

About 2 weeks ago, I passed out at work and was sent to the emergency room they ruled I was very dehydrated. The next day I went to HR they said that I had to do a drug test and get cleared by my primary doctor, which I did. So my medical file shows that I have seizures. I am working to get that off because I’ve never actually had one. Anyway, this past Friday, they said that I am a liability to the company and they are going to have to let me go. Can they do that? It was not a seizure I had, I just passed out.

Asked on November 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you have a medical condition or disability (proven, defined, verified one), they cannot terminate for having it and have to make "reasonable accommodations" to the condition, which likely would include not terminating you from your job for the occasional seizure, so long as the nature of your job is such that it does not pose safety or liabilty risks for them (e.g. you are not a driver or equipment/machinery operator).
But if you don't have a medical condition or disability, you are not entitled to the protection of the anti-discrimination laws. That means that unless you have a written employment contract whose terms protect you from termination, you are an "employees at will" and may be be terminated at any time, for any reason, including passing out at work. So ironically, you have *less* employment protection without a medical condition than you would with one, since employees at will have no rights to or protection for their jobs.


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