Can the employer fire me because of illness?

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Can the employer fire me because of illness?

I have been told that I might be terminated from my job at the FDA because of absences. I have been sick with depression a lot this year.

Asked on December 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While generally speaking mental disabilities such as depression are covered under the ADA, an employee has to demonstrate that the alleged disability substantially limits a major life activity such as learning,  speaking, performing manual tasks, sleeping, etc.  And while the ADA protects you from being discriminated against because of the disability, but it does not require employers to tolerate misconduct, even if the misconduct is caused by the disability. So being fired for absences may not be protected here.  The individual facts of your case will govern.  Good luck. 


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