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Would you be able to sue a former employer who terminated you when a personal medical issue may be at fault?

Utica, MI |

My mother was terminated from her position in October for "Falling asleep on the job." The employer claimed they had given her a verbal warning about a month prior to the day she was fired for sleeping at work. My mom does not remember receiving this warning.
She has hypothyroidism and she stated that she was feeling many of the symptoms that she had prior to be being diagnosed (Mainly feeling tired and sluggish). After being terminated, she went to her doctor and had her Thyroid levels reviewed. It turned out that her levels were extremely low. In fact the doctor said to her, "You should be in a coma." We had the doctor write a letter sharing these findings and started an appeal process with the employer. The termination was upheld. Does my mom have a case for wrongful termination?

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Attorney answers 2


Your mother probably does not have a case, at least not because of her medical condition. If her employer didn't know about her medical condition, even if it were a disability for which the employer would have been required to reasonably accommodate her, the employer wouldn't be liable for terminating her. The only way she would have a claim is if an employee handbook, statements made by her employer, etc., created an employment relationship in which your mother could only be terminated "for cause." Making that determination would require a more in-depth discussion than what is practical on this forum. If you think her employer was required to take more disciplinary "steps" prior to terminating her, it may be worth contacting an attorney to review the facts of her case. I hope this helps. Take care.

My discussion with you regarding the question you posted on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is my response to your question to be considered legal advice. While I do my best to provide helpful responses given the factual scenario presented, proper analysis of any matter requires a more in-depth conversation than what is practical on Avvo. If you would like to discuss your matter further so that I may provide you with more specific advice, please take advantage of your free consultation by e-mailing me directly at or by calling me directly at (616) 606 - LAW-6 (5296). If you are a member of the military, or if an immediate family member of yours lost his or her life while fighting for our country, I am proud to offer you a 10% discount on my fee.


(1) Did your mother "inform" (put on notice)
her boss of her medical condition?
(2) Did mom ask for any accomodations
because of her condition?
(3) Was there an "Employer-Employee"
(4) Did management "violate" their own
termination policy?
-----There's LOTS of questions that need to
be answered to discuss this properly.


James M. Osak

James M. Osak


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