If I got fired because of my health problems, do I have a case?

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If I got fired because of my health problems, do I have a case?

I had been working full time at a physical therapy office. I got sent home early from work one day; I told them that I was having some medical issues. ( I did not request to be sent home; I was supposed to get my health benefits the following week). The next day, the CEO laid me off telling me they were downsizing. The next day I saw that they were hiring for my position. I feel they let me go because they found out about my medical issues and did not want to pay into it. Isn’t it illegal to fire someone because of health reasons? I had perfect attendance also.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think that you should seek advice from an attorney who deals with discrimination issues in your area.  Are you considered "disabled" in any way?  The definition of this varies from state to state and should be read in conjunction with whatever your medical condition.  Were they aware of your condition when they hired you?  Generally, employment is known as "at will" where an employer can fire an employee for any reason BUT a discriminatory one.  What is fishy here is that they told you they were downsizing and then hired for your position.  That makes it seem like something else was going on that was not on the up and up.  File for unemployment and seek help.  Good luck.


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