Per my attorney who specializes in employment related law, a person with a disability is in a “protected class” under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and therefore an employer MUST state the reason(s) for terminating employment. This is the case, as to protect your rights as a person with a disability from being discriminated against. It doesn’t mean that they will be truthful in their disclosure, but they can’t avoid answering the question as they can to someone who does not happen to have a disability.
If you feel like you have been discriminated against due to your disability, you must act quickly as their are time limits at stake. You only have 30-days from termination to make a formal request to your employer as to the exact reason(s) your employment was terminated; a request for a copy of your ENTIRE personnel file (which they have to give you by law, regardless if you have a disability or not); and any and all email correspondences to and from your company account. Most employers have a confidentiality clause, but that can and will work in your favor. No consumer first and last names will be contained in any of the email correspondences, so you are “safe” at requesting this information.
The emails can be your proof of documentation of any suspected wrong-doing or discrimination from your employer. It can also serve as documentation should termination come suddenly, to prove you were doing your job. Emails, and the written word, can be used to fill in gaps in the timeline and can end up assisting you in proving your case if you feel that you were wrongfully terminated. If your employer won’t provide you with your entire email file, don’t worry there is a remedy. They can be requested and required to turn over that information through an attorney or the court. Also you don’t have to worry about your employer deleting all the evidence, as nothing is totally deleted from a computer or network. There are ways to retrieve deleted items in the system.
None of us know ALL the laws, and that is why there are attorney’s who specialize in this sort of thing. Don’t dismiss your case without talking with someone first. Many attorney’s offer a free consultation for your first visit. It costs you nothing to find out if you have a claim or not, and to receive guidance.
Second, you only have 60 days from termination to file with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in your state. Once you file your statement with them, they will do their own investigation and determine IF there is any basis to your claim. Once they have completed, you will receive their findings from them, and based on those findings, can decide if you want to pursue legal action against your employer. BEFORE an attorney will take your case, you must complete this step.
The good news is, is that you can do all this on your own without an attorney, gathering all the information and determining yourself if you want to go forward with it. At that time, you would then seek the legal assistance of a good attorney. It costs you nothing out-of-pocket to gather all the information that you can. Otherwise an attorney will charge you, at a ridiculous high rate, to do something that you can do for yourself for free.
Finally, never let an employer belittle you or make you feel like you have no rights, as you do have many protected rights under the ADA. Too many times people are intimidated and just walk away, but if you do that then the employer wins (and you lose) and nothing will be done to correct the problem. By standing up for your rights, as a person with a disability, you not only fight for your own justice but of those who follow behind you.
Take care my friends, and I hope you found this information helpful. If you don’t need it now, keep it in the back of your mind for future reference should you ever need it.
Thank you very much for your time!