If I have cancer, can I be legally terminated citing other reasons?

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If I have cancer, can I be legally terminated citing other reasons?

My employer claims my job performance has dropped. However, 90% of my co-workers will attest that I am one of the best employees. The other 10% who will not attest, are the ones who never liked me since the day I was hired.

Asked on January 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, yes--you can be terminated for reasons not related to your cancer. The law prohibits firing an employee due to him or her having a medical condition, but having a condition is not a guaranty of employment: you can be terminated for other reasons.
Of course, the stated reason may be false--i.e. it may be a pretense. If you are fired and feel the given reason is pretextual, you can contact the federal EEOC or the NJ Division on Civil Rights (DCR) to file a complaint: if the agency thinks  there is something to the complaint, they can investigate for you. Your employer will have the chance to try and prove there was a valid reason for the termination (one not related to the cancer); if they can't, you may be entitled to compensation.


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