What to do ifI was fired due to a disability?

UPDATED: Oct 4, 2011

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What to do ifI was fired due to a disability?

I was recently fired from a large corporation whom I was employed with for 6 years. The reason they fired me was performance. I have Parkinson’s disease which made my job almost impossible to perform at the level I was expected too. I received no assistance whatsoever when I informed them of my condition and was denied a different position that would have helped me. So now I have no job and was told by unemployment that this company may deny me unemployment benefits. Is there any legal action that I can pursue?

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It would be worthwhile to speak with an employment law attorney, since you *may* have a cause of action based on discrimination vs. the disabled. The key issue will be whether, with "reasonable accomodations," you could do your job. A reasonable accomodation is one that is not too costly or too disruptive; classic examples include provide voice recognition software, software that reads aloud documents, and/or a larger or magnified screen; or allowing a receptionist who would normally sit for hours to stand or walk around if she needs to (can't sit that long); or allow a warehouse worker with lifting constraints to pick the lighter packages, while someone else does the heavier ones. If it were the case, however, that owing to your Parkinson's you simply could not do the job, even with reasonable accomodations, then they might have been justified in terminating you. This clearly is an issue that turns on the specific facts, which is why you need to discuss it--and the other questions you raise (could they have given you a job? how can they deny you unemployment benefits?)--in detail with experienced employment counsel. Good  luck.

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