What are my options for wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my options for wrongful termination?

I was recently fired for not being able to return to the ‘in
office’ work setting with firm office hours, after successfully
working remotely for the last two years with flex hours. This
was a reasonable accommodation granted to me for chronic
illnesses covered under the ADA. I was told it was no longer
working for them to have me telecommuting and since the
location not company had under 15 employees on that
particular site, the ADA did not cover me. All essential
functions of the job were still being completed without
difficulty and without cost to them. I have been with the
company twelve years.

Asked on October 31, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The issue is solely whether or not you working remotely is working for them. You indicate that you are still completing all essential job functions supposedly without "cost to them"; if true, that is strong evidence in your favor, that you are and should still be entitled to this accommodation (and therefore, that the termination is wrongful), but it is not the end of the story: the employer may be able to show that not uaving you onsite causes unreasonable problems in coordination, reporting, supervision, or overall productivity (since it is harder to work as a team or be managed when you are not onsite)...and, of course, they may disagree with yiur assertion that your offsite work is not imposing costs or is being satisfactorily done. If they could show some or more of these things, then the accommodation may not be reasonable and they could terminate you for not working onsite. (Employers only need to make reasonable--i.e. not too costly or disruptive--accommodations.) If you feel the accommodation was reasonable and you were therefore terminated wrongfully, contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint; just don't assume you will necessarily or automatically win.

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