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?
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.
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.
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&pe...
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...
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.
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