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jasmon88

Disability Discrimination/Wrongful Termination

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I was recently terminated from my job 3 days after telling my director that I was having a surgical procedure to remove a lump located in my breast. The letter of termination states I was terminated because I was a health risk to the job. I've been working at my job for approximately 16 months. I was never written up and I attended work everyday. I have never been late to work or reprimanded for any wrong doings. Was I wrongfully terminated? Was I discriminated due to having a breast lump or having surgery? Do I have a case?

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It certainly sounds like you were discriminated against because of your medical condition. Whether that medical condition is a disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I cannot say on the facts given, but it could be. Keep the termination letter, that will be a huge asset to you in rebutting your employer's claim that the termination was for something else if the employer decides to change its tune should you sue. The ADA will apply if your employer had at least 15 employees. The first step is to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Some states have laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability, too, and they often apply to smaller employers than the federal law does. In some states, filing a complaint with the state will count as filing with the EEOC, too. You must file your complaint on time or you'll lose your opportunity to sue later. You may have as little as 180 days after the termination to file the complaint. For more information, see the EEOC page on filing a charge.

I also suggest you consult an attorney who litigates ADA employment claims in your state.

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Pass the word: stop telling employers precisely why you'll be out in terms of identifying actual condition/surgery.

"The letter of termination states I was terminated because I was a health risk to the job."

You've hit the lotto in terms of dumb-ass employers, unless it is of a size that isn't subject to anti-discrimination laws.

"Was I wrongfully terminated?"

If you mean in a legal sense, if employer is subject to ADA, perhaps. (It's not clear that you have an actual disability, because a lumpectomy doesn't mean you have cancer. Still, close enough.)

"Was I discriminated due to having a breast lump or having surgery?"

Er, that seems fairly clear to me.

"Do I have a case?"

Strangers cannot know the answer as to whether there's a viable case simply based on what you've posted.

I'd discuss with state and federal EEOC by way of a prima facie complaint (nailing down whether employer is subject to your unnamed state's laws, as well as federal), as well as a local attorney who handles employment discrimination suits.

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