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I was discriminated against


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Old 6th May 2011, 2:56 PM   #1
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I was discriminated against

I never thought this would happen to me. I dislosed to my employer that I have a disability and they fired me. I am so confused and upset, has this ever happened to anyone? I contacted a lawyer but I am just trying to make sense of the whole thing. I don't know if I should try to go down the legal road but I feel as though I owe it to myself. I have never been discriminated against and am shocked that someone would do this to me.
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:07 PM   #2
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LB

I am so sorry this has happened to you. It is disgraceful behaviour on the part of your employer - especially assuming this is the employer you have been with for some time and have therefore shown that your disability does not affect your ability and performance at work. Being in the UK, I would not want to comment on the legalities of this but there are definitely some on LS who know US employment law who I am sure can offer you some advice
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:11 PM   #3
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They fired you for your disability?? Don't they know that's a lawsuit just waiting to happen??? Did you failt to disclose this upon hire and does it in some fashion interfere with the work you do for them?? I guess that's my biggest question....if they hired you for a job and you didn't tell them there were aspects that you could not perform then from their perspective you don't qualify for the position. But no one should be descriminated against.

The company I work for (they're pretty huge) "restructured" a couple of years ago and "got rid of" a certain position - a small dept of only about 5 ladies all very near retirement and all having physical disabilities in some form or another. They basically booted these women 5y or less before they were due to retire - what's the liklihood they can find another job right now?? Not much...they were all crushed...20y working for this co and this is how they're treated the second the co sees an opportunity to put someone younger that they can pile more work on to for less $$....well anyhow, those ladies fought the good fight - but I don't know the outcome because I transferred not long after that to a different facility. (The goings on in that particular one were terrible all around in all depts). I pretty much hate all large corporations and their greed...well all greed really...it's been the cause of fall for so many....ridiculous.
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:51 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriebell82 View Post
I never thought this would happen to me. I dislosed to my employer that I have a disability and they fired me. I am so confused and upset, has this ever happened to anyone? I contacted a lawyer but I am just trying to make sense of the whole thing. I don't know if I should try to go down the legal road but I feel as though I owe it to myself. I have never been discriminated against and am shocked that someone would do this to me.
Actually yes and no; the devil is in the employment contracts, job descriptions, and other details.

They can fire you at will if you applied and got a position that requires certain abilities. After you told them about your disability affects the abilities, in other words affects your position; then yes a termination is in order. In other words they terminated you because you lied on your application.

In the US, if your are covered under the American with Disabilities Act; the employer has to make reasonable accommodations.
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:52 PM   #5
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In the UK, disclosure of all or any matters which might affect your work circumstances must be declared at the point of interview.
Any information withheld can be construed as malicious non-disclosure, and could result in dismissal whether the disclosed factor interferes with the work requirement or not.

A friend of mine informed her employers that she had tattoos on her arms, but that she would work with covered sleeves if required to do so.
She was informed this would not be a problem, and that plenty of employees had tattoos.

Her initial position did not require her to work with the public, and when a certain position became available she applied internally for the promotion.
In spite of being the best qualified and most experienced person, and as such eminently suitable for the job, she was passed over for a younger colleague, with fewer qualifications, who had been there 9 months less than her.

When she asked why, they explained that she could not be selected, due to her having tattoos on her arms, and she was an unsuitable candidate for a position in which facing the public was a requirement.

She sue the pants off them and was awarded a substantial amount in damages.

Had she withheld the information, she would have lost the case.
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:56 PM   #6
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Laurie,
I've been following your life since you joined as a young grad student deciding whether or not to move in with your then BF, now Husband.

You need to give a bit more info about this " disability" and how you know that was the cause of your firing. Last I heard you moved a few hours away together and landed a new job....

(I guess PM, if you don't want to get into details here, but you are educated enough to know that no one can help you if we don't know a LITTLE more on this thread)

(hugs)
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Old 6th May 2011, 3:57 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by ShatteredReality View Post
The company I work for (they're pretty huge) "restructured" a couple of years ago and "got rid of" a certain position - a small dept of only about 5 ladies all very near retirement and all having physical disabilities in some form or another. They basically booted these women 5y or less before they were due to retire - what's the liklihood they can find another job right now?? Not much...they were all crushed...20y working for this co and this is how they're treated the second the co sees an opportunity to put someone younger that they can pile more work on to for less $$....well anyhow, those ladies fought the good fight - but I don't know the outcome because I transferred not long after that to a different facility. (The goings on in that particular one were terrible all around in all depts). I pretty much hate all large corporations and their greed...well all greed really...it's been the cause of fall for so many....ridiculous.
The is prima facie age discrimination.

From a public perception, all worked 20 years, all are women, all have under 5 years till retirement; go luck proving there is "no" discrimination whatsoever. Based on gender you have some discrimination. Based on years worked means a class of workers, and 5 years till retirement, show age discrimination. If the facility got closed and the 5 ladies worked in that facility, that is another story.
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerbear View Post
The is prima facie age discrimination.

From a public perception, all worked 20 years, all are women, all have under 5 years till retirement; go luck proving there is "no" discrimination whatsoever. Based on gender you have some discrimination. Based on years worked means a class of workers, and 5 years till retirement, show age discrimination. If the facility got closed and the 5 ladies worked in that facility, that is another story.
Nope - they all worked in a facility where their job is still done and still needed...but it's now done by a group of 20 somethings that are new to the company. It was "restructured" and the title was changed, some duties were added that those original women would not have been able to do because it involves quite a bit of walking...four girls do it now not 5 and the shifts were increased to longer hours. Yeah...I cannot tell you how upset many of us were to hear it...I wasn't in their dept but the same facility...I left for many reasons, but I have always kind of wondered what ever happened for them. I know they got an attorney...but it was still pretty ridiculous that they had to fight that fight....not one of them was younger than 55...and maybe all of them were 60 and up....I have to say I hope they got a really great severence or something - court ordered of course.
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:20 PM   #9
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Okay, more info. I have Epilepsy which I was diagnosed with at age 9. I had seizures up until I was 14, which was the last time I had a seizure. I take medication everyday and am controlled. I have not had a seizure since I was 15. I never disclose to any employer up front that I have Epilepsy because I do not have seizures. Sometimes I will tell my coworkers after I get hired (like at my last job they knew) after some substantial amount of time passes and have never heard a peep from anyone. My disability does not prevent me from doing my job, nor do I need reasonable accomodations. I have to miss work to go to a doctors appointment once per year and I use vacation time. Nobody would even know if I didn't tell them.

Anyway, I have worked for this very small rehab for about 2 weeks, my husband and I recently moved. They are the ones who terminated me. I ended up disclosing to the clinical manager that I had Epilepsy yesterday after a medical emergency with a client happened. I never in a billion years assumed that I would get fired over it. They told me I "wasn't a good fit" but would not explain to me what that meant. They also told me that I could keep the relocation money they gave me, however in a contract that I signed, it said that if I or they terminate my employment prior to 90 days I have to pay back the money. Seems a little bit like hush money to me...
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:36 PM   #10
 
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Are you still within your probationary trial period? If so, at-will and "not a good fit" is a valid reason for termination. Bad reason in my book but a reason.

I still say talk to your lawyer registered in your state. BTW I believe your state is an At-will state. In simple generic terms, employer and employee can terminate employment for any reason other than those protected classes or in bad faith. Seek a lawyer specializing in labor relations.
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:47 PM   #11
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{{{ OH HONEY !!!}}} If there is one cause dear to my heart, that I would spend all my time and money on it is epilepsy ! Such a misunderstood illness and can be ( thankfully not in your case) hard to treat. Especially without insurance and trial and error with meds. As you know, my husband suffered with an uncontrolled seizure disorder that got increasingly worse, and he died due to a wrong place/wrong time seizure.

This IS a protected disability, but since they didn't directly say " gee, now that we know you have a seizure disorder were firing you", and it's within the probationary period, I doubt there is much you will be able to do. My husband went through the same thing. All my love and sympathy.

Sadly enough, I guess now you know not to disclose this. if you ever DO seize on company time, tell 'em it never happened before in your life and it's probably environmental on THEIR part. What a sh*tty, sh*tty world
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:47 PM   #12
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Is there any chance that you and this company actually are not a good fit?
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Old 6th May 2011, 4:55 PM   #13
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There is no case because you are in your probation period and they can fire you for ANY reason. She did not come out and say it was because of your disability. I would keep the relocation money but make sure you sign something so you don't have to pay taxes on it and go on your way. Sorry to hear that.
I had this happen to me because of a pg but couldn't prove it.
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Old 6th May 2011, 7:21 PM   #14
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Old 6th May 2011, 8:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriebell82 View Post
Okay, more info. I have Epilepsy which I was diagnosed with at age 9. I had seizures up until I was 14, which was the last time I had a seizure. I take medication everyday and am controlled. I have not had a seizure since I was 15. I never disclose to any employer up front that I have Epilepsy because I do not have seizures. ...... I ended up disclosing to the clinical manager that I had Epilepsy yesterday after a medical emergency with a client happened. I never in a billion years assumed that I would get fired over it. .
If you didn't declare it when you had the interview -
If you have a condition, in spite of insisting that you haven't had a seizure in years (you still have that condition, no matter what you insist) -
If you are still in your probationary period -

Then you haven't got a leg to stand on, particularly as you have no proof whatsoever that this is specifically the reason they terminated you.

next time, be sure to declare it, but have a letter from your doctor/specialist, confirming that the condition is completely controlled and that they can testify that you have not had a single seizure in 'XX' years.
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