All employees are legally protected from workplace discrimination on the grounds of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits private employers, state and local governments, labor organizations and employment agencies from discriminating against individuals of the basis of disability in regard to all employment practices, from hiring, training and assigning jobs, to giving promotions, demotions and firing.
If you have recently been fired, you may suspect that you were fired because of your disability, especially if your employer did not give a specific reason for firing you. It’s important that you do not simply accept your job termination, and that you try to read between the lines. Start by understanding your legal protections from disability discrimination in the workplace, and then begin to consider whether you can prove that you were a victim of discrimination.
Understanding at-will employment
Those who are employed at-will do not have a huge amount of protection from being fired. Their employer can choose to fire them without notice and without giving a reason. Therefore, many people believe that they cannot challenge their firing legally when they are employed at-will. If you believe that you have been discriminated against or retaliated against, you still have the right to take action against your employer, because being fired for these reasons is always unlawful.
Proving that you were fired due to your disability
Even if you are convinced that the reason your employer fired you was because of your disability, you may find that there is a lack of evidence to support your claim. Try to think about whether you were ever made to feel like a burden or not accepted by your employer because of your disability. Other employees may have noticed this hostile behavior and may be willing to make a statement. Also, consider whether you have any written communication between you and your employer regarding your disability. Communication could help to paint a picture of hostility that could help you to make a discrimination claim.
Disability discrimination could lead to unemployment and being worried about financial hardship in the future. It’s important, therefore, that you take legal action to hold your former employer responsible and to gain the damages that you deserve.