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Can my husband be fired

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#1 Gypsy09_12


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Can my husband be fired because he has congestive heart failure and has been put on a 50 hour work week by his doctor, stated in an evaluation letter by the doctor given to the employer? There are no set hours in his written contract with the company.
I just read his contract and it does state that he is an at-will employee, does that also mean that he can be fired for any reason including health issues even though he's working 50 hrs per week with a doctors note stating that he can't work more than 50 hrs weekly? We are in Nevada.

#2 Fallen


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

Gypsy, it's best not to "piggyback" on someone else's unrelated thread, but instead post your own new question.

"Can my husband be fired because he has congestive heart failure and has been put on a 50 hour work week by his doctor, stated in an evaluation letter by the doctor given to the employer?"

CAN it happen? Sure.

"There are no set hours in his written contract with the company."

If the job doesn't demand more than 50 hours on a routine basis, it's unclear why your husband would feel the need to give the employer a letter. Thus, I presume on a typical basis your husband's job requires more than 50 hours a week. Husband's free to seek an accommodation for a disability, and the employer's obligated to enter into a dialog about whether it's a reasonable accommodation for the business to make (whether other folks can take up the slack). If your husband believes it's doable for the company to accommodate and they refuse, he's free to complain to the EEOC and state equivalent and talk with a lawyer about disability discrimination. (Preferably, he'd want to be able to point to other folks not having to work the same hours and not having a problem with the employer.)

Whether the contract explicitly stated it or not, absent specific contract terms saying he can only bew let go for X reasons, yes, he can be let go for no reason at all.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

#3 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

When the employer is not a government agency, then the employer may legally fire you for any reason (or no reason at all) except for a few reasons prohibited by law. The prohibited reasons include firing you because:
[*]of your race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);
[*]you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government or in limited circumstances to specified persons in the employing company itself (known as whistle-blower protection laws);
[*]you participate in union organizing activities;[*]you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);
[*]you filed a bankruptcy petition;
[*]your pay was garnished by a single creditor or by the IRS; and
[*]you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).

Here, the issue I see is whether firing your husband would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). His congestive heart failure is likely a disability under the ADA. In that case, he may not be fired because of the disability. He may, however, be fired if he cannot do the essential tasks of his job to required level of performance. If he needs help from the employer to able to do his job at the required level, he may ask for that help from the employer as a reasonable accommodation. The employer must provide reasonable accommodation (though not necessarily the exact accommodation the employee requests) unless doing so would be an undue hardship on the employer. Modifying the employee’s schedule or hours (e.g. going from full-time to part) may be an appropriate reasonable accommodation in some cases. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) discusses this it its guidance on reasonable accommodation. This can be a difficult issue, though, because reducing the hours of the disabled employee usually means someone else will have to pick up the work the disabled employee was doing. Depending on the facts, that may indeed impose an undue hardship on the employer. It can also make for tension in the workplace, as the other employees who have more work to do as a result of the accommodation may resent it.Note that if the employer has fewer than 15 employees, the ADA does not apply. A state disability law might apply to smaller employers, however.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

To learn more about employee rights, you may wish to visit the Employment Law Center and read Losing a Job as a good resource.

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