October 5, 2022

Can Your Employer Terminate You for Performance Issues Caused By Your Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees that people living with disabilities receive equal opportunities and rights to people without disabilities. It also ensures that no one is discriminated against based on their disability in schools, workplaces, and all areas accessible by the general public.

The act specifically makes it illegal to dismiss employees due to their impairment. This means that your employer should not terminate you for performance issues caused by your disability.

What Defines a Disability Under the ADA?

According to the ADA, a disability is any mental or physical incapacitation that largely affects someone’s ability to perform daily activities. This includes individuals with records of these impairments who do not currently have a noticeable disability. Employers with 15 or more employees should offer reasonable accommodation to employees living with disabilities. However, the employees are responsible for notifying their employers of their disability.

Reasonable accommodations include:

  • Job restructuring
  • Reassignment to a vacant position
  • Providing interpreters and reader
  • Modifying or providing new equipment or devices
  • Making the work areas more ADA accessible

However, if there are no accommodations to allow the employee to perform their duties effectively, the ADA authorizes the employer to dismiss the employee. The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against disabled employees in employment aspects like recruitment, hiring, compensation, promotions, training, leave, and many more.

Your employer should also not terminate you for exercising your ADA rights. The ADA also protects you from discrimination for associating with a person living with a disability.

It is essential to note that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not cover anyone using drugs illegally. In fact, the Act allows employers to fire employees based on illegal drug use, and employers can even test job applicants for current illicit drug abuse.

Reasons You Can Be Terminated Due to a Disability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA allows employers to terminate disabled employees due to the following:

  • Any not related to the disability
  • The employee cannot perform daily functions even after being provided with a reasonable accommodation.
  • The employee poses a health or safety risk in the workplace.

Employees who fail to return to work after being offered a reasonable accommodation or after taking their 12-week leave can be terminated. The employer also has a right to fire employees who threaten to hurt others or themselves or act in an overly disruptive manner. However, the employer has to prove that similar action is taken against non-disabled employees who exhibited the same behavior.

Get in Touch With a New York Disability Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been terminated or discriminated against in the workplace, you have a right to file a claim. Call (212) 595-6200 to schedule a consultation with a disability lawyer from Mizrahi Kroub LLP. We will offer the assistance you need to prove your wrongful termination claim and help you acquire rightful compensation.

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