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What can I do about being fired unjustly?

Wellston, OH |

I was fired in 11/11 because of medical illnesses. My uinemployment department said it was unjustly termination and I will be receiving my unemployment. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. First, congratulations on the unemployment claim. Keep in mind, however, an unemployment win does not mean your employer did something illegal or that you have a lawsuit. It is a good indicator though that the employer's reason for termination may not hold up if you do have a lawsuit.

    Second, whether you have a lawsuit will depend on how long you worked there (ie, you may have an FMLA claim) and whether the medical illness is a disability. Any person who is fired "because of medical illnesses" as you state should seriously consider seeking consultation with an employment law attorney. More information about your medical illnesses and termination may reveal a valid lawsuit entitling you to compensation.

    Because I do not know the entire facts of your situation it is difficult to give you the best, accurate advice for the situation. It is advisable for you to contact an attorney who can discuss this issue in its entirety. Providing information via avvo.com does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You may have a claim if you termination is related to your medical illnesses. Be warned that unemployment compensation in Ohio is a determination of whether there was "just cause" for your termination; this is a different requirement than a discrimination claim. You may have protections under the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or Ohio statutes. This will depend on the factual issues surrounding your termination.

    To recover on an ADA discrimination claim, an employee must show that: 1) he has a disability; 2) he is ‘otherwise qualified’ to perform the job requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation; and 3) he was discharged solely by reason of his handicap. Monette v. Elec. Data Sys. Corp., 90 F.3d 1173, 1178 (6th Cir.1996)

    Ohio courts look to ADA regulations and cases interpreting the federal Act for guidance in interpreting of Ohio disability law. City of Columbus Civil Serv. Comm'n. v. McGlone, 82 Ohio St.3d 569, 573, 697 N.E.2d 204 (Ohio 1998).

    The FMLA entitles an eligible employee to as many as twelve weeks of leave during any twelve-month period if the employee has a “serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.” 29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(1)(D).

    You should consult with an employment attorney to determine if you have potential claims. Good luck.

    The above information is shared for educational and discussion purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is intended or established through your reliance on the information provided. If your legal rights could be impacted by using this information, you are urged to seek legal counsel before taking action.


  3. I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. The following is information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. However, you should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.

    There are various sources of POTENTIAL protection for illness.

    There is limited protection if the sickness is due to a serious medical condition as that is defined by law. Please look at my Avvo guide on the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. section 2101 et seq. (FMLA) to see if that law applies in your situation: http://www.avvo.com/pages/show?category_id=6&permalink=family-and-medical-leave-fmla-summary-of-key-provisions

    If the sickness is due to a disability as defined by law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq. (ADA) may provide some protection. Please look at my Avvo guide on the ADA: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/employment-disability-protection-under-californias-fair-employment-and-housing-act-and-federal-ada

    Your state may have laws that protect employees in your situation, but as I am not licensed in your state, I cannot advise you on this. Please contact an attorney licensed in your state.

    Finally, if the sickness is due to on-the-job injury or is caused by work, your state's workers' compensation laws may provide some relief.

    Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney in your state. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.nela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

    Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and in many cities. On the NELA web site, you can look at the list of affiliates. Some attorneys will be listed in the affiliate membership list, some in the national organization membership list, and some in both. Being listed in one or both lists should not influence your selection because attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase the listing in the national directory. Each local affiliate has its own rules for listing.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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