Best Ohio Disability Discrimination Attorney Answer: What should I do if I was fired today because I am disabled? Can I be fired because my employer feels my prosthetic leg will result in a workplace accident? Can I sue my employer even though I was a temporary employee placed by an agency?
It has been a couple months for Sony. First, Sony executives had their emails hacked, causing embarrassing, but not surprising, emails to be seen by the world. Second, Sony chose to cancel the release of a controversial movie, which resulted in the President of the United States of America publically telling Sony they screwed up. Third, the movie wasn’t all that good. And finally, Sony was forced to pay a former employee $85,000 to resolve a disability discrimination claim for terminating her employment because she had a prosthetic leg.
Our employment discrimination attorneys blogged about this disability discrimination situation when the lawsuit was filed in 2012. In that employment discrimination blog, our employment lawyers explained that companies cannot avoid liability by using a staffing agency to act as a go-between them and the employees. Although dealing with gender discrimination, our lawyers pointed to another example of this failed tactic in this employment discrimination blog.
To stop you employer, boss or manager from discriminating against you based on your disability, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it against the law for your employer or supervisor to harass or discriminate against you because you are disabled or because the boss perceives you as having a disability. If you are fired because you have a disability, then you would have a claim for wrongful termination against your boss, your employer and even the staffing company.
The employee in question was placed at Sony by a staffing agency, Staffmark Investment LLC, to inspect Sony electronics on a temporary basis at a Sony facility in Illinois. (Staffmark also paid $100,000). The employee made it all the way to her second day of work before she was fired simply because of her disability. On the second day on the job, the employee was approached by a Staffmark representative and told that she was being removed from the worksite. The reason given was quite shocking and outwardly discriminatory; Staffmark and Sony were concerned that she would be bumped into or knocked down because of her prosthetic leg.
Even though it appeared as though Staffmark made the decision to terminate the employee’s temporary employment, Sony was still on the hook. Why? Because Sony made the actual decision to fire the employee based on her disability and attempted, unsuccessfully, to shield themselves from liability by making it seem like Staffmark was behind the decision.
This type of trick is often used in cases involving temporary employees. The employer that requests the services of the temporary employee will get rid of employee for discriminatory reasons and try to cover themselves by pinning the discrimination on the agency that placed the temporary employee. Sony was unsuccessful in this case as it agreed to pay the employee $85,000 and with Staffmark paying the employee $100,000, she got $185,000 for working less than two full days.
This brings us to another argument that our employment discrimination lawyers often hear from attorneys that represent employers — “but he or she only worked there for a few days” or a few week or a couple of months. These employers’ lawyers argue that the length of the work history effects the amount of damages. By law, it should not. The measure of economic damages is the lost income moving forward. So the real consideration for economic damages (not emotional distress or punitive damages) is how long it took to find a new job or if the new job paid more, less or the same.
If you have been discriminated by your employer because of a disability or for any other reason, you should contact an employment attorney, even if you were a temporary employee. Hiding behind the fact that you are temporary employee is not permitted in Ohio and the placement agency and employer could both be found liable.
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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