Is it legal if I was fired as a W2 contractor because I needed surgery even though I can return to work?

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Is it legal if I was fired as a W2 contractor because I needed surgery even though I can return to work?

I am a W-2 contractor with a contract that was supposed to end in 6 months. I have a condition that requires I have heart surgery to get the valve repaired. I am having minimally invasive surgery but can be release back to work in 3 to 4 weeks. I have all the documentation to prove this. I let the company I am working for now know and they terminated my contract because I will be but for 3 weeks. Is that legal? I will now be unemployed even though I was doing a good job and had a good relationship with the managers and staff. Not only will I be having surgery but also broke and without a job. Can I file a EEOC complaint under ADA.

Asked on July 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not, based on what you write, have a valid discrimination or reasonable accommodation complaint. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with medical conditions; failure to do so can be disability based discrimination. A "reasonable accommodation" is a change in policy or procedure, or the provision of some assistive device, which is not too expensive or disruptive for the employer and lets the employee keep doing his/her job. However, allowing the employee to miss work is not a reasonable accommodation (think about it: if you're not a work, then you're not doing your job with some assistance or procedural change). The law does not make employers keep employees who miss work unless--
1) the employee has an uses earned PTO (e.g. sick days) to cover the absence; and/or
2) the employer is covered by, the employee is eligible for, and the employee validly/properly uses Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") unpaid leave for the absence. (You can find the rules for FMLA leave on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website.)
Otherwise, if you miss work, even for medical reasons, you may be terminated. 


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