Do I have a case aganst my formee employer if I was recently fired from my job and the reasons given were due to my medical condition?

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Do I have a case aganst my formee employer if I was recently fired from my job and the reasons given were due to my medical condition?

They fired me for poor job performance and attitude. I suffer from bipolar disorder, which affects both on a regular basis.

Asked on May 5, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While you should discuss the matter in detail with an employment law attorney to evaluate whether you have a legal cause of action, from what you write, you may not. An employer may not discriminate against an employee because of a disability; but that does NOT mean that the employer may never fire an employee who has a disability--or even that the employee cannot be fired due to his or her disability, if it materially (or significantly) affects job performance.

Discrimination means to fire someone simply because they have a disabiltiy. However, employers are not obligated to employ people who cannot effectively do their jobs, or who disrupt or harm the company in other ways (such as by alienating fellow employees with a bad attitude, or by hurting customer relations). If your condition does have a significant impact on your job performance and attitude and you were terminated for those reason--and not simply because you are bipolar--the termination may well be legal.


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