How can I determine if I was fired based on discrimination against my disability or as not compliant with procedural norms?

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How can I determine if I was fired based on discrimination against my disability or as not compliant with procedural norms?

I worked as an assistant professor at college for the last 18 months. Last winter the chair punished me withholding my pay when I failed to show up for the term exam in a snowstorm with the road closed due to an accident. My students were able to take the exam; I arranged it beforehand online. She rebuked me in a rude manner and after that started quietly isolating me. Later I had a

concussion and was taken to ER in a very bad condition; 10 days later the doctor let me start teaching but the chair told me I will be allowed to be back when she decides. Ever since the chair created a hostile environment excluding me from college activities, not responding to my professional e-mails, etc. Then 2 weeks ago at my annual review she announced, in violation of the termination procedure and other clauses of college laws, that my that my contract was terminated by her due to

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to know for sure, but if you have MS and also suffered an obviously severe concussion, and were later terminated for a reason ("lack of collegeality") which was not supported by evidence or documentation (e.g. you have not prevously been written up for this, put on a performance improvement or mentoring/training plan, etc.), then a reasonable supposition is that you were discriminated against due to your disability(ies) and medical condition(s), and/or in retaliation for asking for assistance or an accommodation--both of which are illegal. It is possible that there was a non-discriminatory reason, but you seem to have made out more than enough of a case to bring it to the EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency; the agency may investigate, or may even immediately conclude that you have made out a "prima facie" (basically, "on its face") case and bring a complaint. Your former school then has the opportunity to try to show that there was some not improper and nonpretextual reason for their action.


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