Do I have any legal course of action after being fired from my job for having a seizure while working?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have any legal course of action after being fired from my job for having a seizure while working?

This would be the second time within 3 months that I had a seizure during work hours. Before beginning my employment I did disclose my condition with my employer and corresponding supervisors. I was working through a temp agency, this would have been my 5th month working at the same place. I was also told when I got hired that after 3 months I would receive health coverage, I

however, did not receive health coverage from my employers nor do I qualify for Medicaid.

Asked on January 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the seizure endangered you or other employees (including if you were driving or operating equipment at the time), or if it scared or could potentially away clients or customers (e.g. if you work in a customer service or sales or retail position, with customer contact), then yes, in that case they may be able to terminate you for having seizures at work. While an employer may not discriminate against an employee for simply having a medical condition, the employer is also not required to accept risks to other person, risks of liability from injuries resulting to either you or others from the seizure, or the risk of a loss of business. So if the seizures are having negative consequences for the employer, the termination may be legal, since it would be those impacts, not merely having the medical condition, which supported the termination. Obviously, whether the risks or impact are bad enough to justify termination is a case-by-case determination, and while they may in some instances, in others they may not. You may wish to contact the federal EEOC to discuss the matter and get the agency's input on whether termination was justified in this matter; if the agency feels it was not, they may take action on your behalf. 

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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