Best Ohio Disability Discrimination Attorney Answer: What can I do if my job will not accommodate my disability? Can I be fired for asking for a disability accommodation? I need a lawyer to sue my boss for discrimination.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits companies from refusing to hire or firing a disabled employee or a worker that the boss or manager perceives as disabled. Additionally, the ADA requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities. Under these employment laws, a reasonable accommodation may include the elimination or modification of any non-essential job duty, or the transfer of a non-essential job duty to a different employee. To determine whether an accommodation for a disabled employee is feasible, the employer must engage in what the law calls an interactive process – essentially talking with the employee to work together to find a solution. Failure to engage in the interactive process will leave the employer liable in a civil suit.
A Ford dealership in Fort Smith, Arkansas recently learned the hard way that employers cannot start treating employees differently just because they have become disabled or refuse to grant a disabled employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation. The dealership will now have to pay a former employee $128,750.00, implement new policies and provide training on complying with the ADA, and post a notice of the settlement for all of its employees to see. On top of all of this, people shopping for Fords in Fort Smith, Arkansas will quickly learn that the dealership, Randall Ford, discriminates against the disabled (or at least, did in the past) when searching for Fords online.
The lawsuit alleged that Randall Ford discriminated against one of its former used car managers, Doyle Martin, when it fired him only days after he returned from spinal surgery to inform his managers of his need for accommodations to perform certain aspects of his work. Specifically, Martin advised his managers that he had been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, a serious medical condition which interferes with the nerves that connect the lower back and the legs. In order to make it easier for Martin to do his job, he requested that the dealership allow him to use a golf cart that the dealership already maintained for long distance travel throughout the car lot, and for assistance when test driving trade in vehicles.
Rather than offering to work with Martin or offering him alternative accommodations, Randall Ford came up with an excuse to fire him. However, the reasons Randall Ford used to justify Martin’s termination were clearly pretext, which is a legal term for what a third grader would say, “liar, liar pants on fire.” Here, it was obvious that Randall Ford was just making things up to get rid of Martin. Indeed, the dealership tried to justify Martin’s termination by pointing to his purchase of 39 used vehicles in an auction several months before (which was part of his job) and because he had been driving a new demo vehicle rather than a used one. However, Martin had never even been disciplined before these allegations, and the dealership could not explain why the 39 vehicles or Martin’s use of a new demo car was only a problem after he became disabled and requested accommodations.
As discrimination lawyers, we see these kinds of trumped-up excuses made all the time to cover-up unlawful discrimination. Just like people, however, some employers are better liars than others. Here, it is pretty clear that Randall Ford could barely cover-up its discriminatory motives.
Having to live with a disability is difficult enough without worrying about the effect it may have on your job. If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call our Ohio employment law attorneys at 866-797-6040. The best option is not to wait. The Spitz Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting disabled employees’ rights under ADA and Ohio employment law.
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