Is it legal for an employer to fire you due to a disability you told them about before they hired you?

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Is it legal for an employer to fire you due to a disability you told them about before they hired you?

I get frequent severe migraines, and
notified the director before he even
extended the position. He said they
could work around it. I had neurology
and pain management appointments
each month that I tried to schedule
during my lunch break, and informed
them of appointments as soon as they
were scheduled. I took in doctors notes
on multiple occasions. I was extremely
drowsy one day because of a new
prescription my doctor started me on. I
closed my eyes for just a moment while
sitting up and using my phone. They
fired me for ‘sleeping’. I explained that I
was very drowsy due to a medication I
had just started for my migraines and
the coffee wasn’t helping. They even
denied my unemployment, stating that I
was fired due to a medical condition.

Asked on July 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They can't fire you for having a disability. However, you may be fired for  conduct at work even if it is disability related. To use a somewhat common example: alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. An employee cannot be fired for being an alcoholic or addict--but if he/she is impaired at work, he/she can be fired for coming into work impaired or using at work. In this case, if you were sleeping at work, you could be terminated for that--for sleeping on the job--even though you cannot be termianted for having migraines.


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