can a employer fire you knowing you have a disability

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can a employer fire you knowing you have a disability

i have stage four breast cancer and my employer wants to fire me because i cant work 12 hour shifts, they have known about my illness before i started to work for them,

Asked on November 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the nature of your job to date has been that you have to work 12 hour shifts, then if you can't work them, they may fire you: while employers must make "reasonable accommodations" to employees with medical conditions, the employee must still be able to do his or her job and work all the hours normally required--a reasonable accommodation does not include letting you work less hours than the job requires.
But if you previously did not have to work 12-hour shifts, then they likely cannot terminate you if can't work enhanced or increased hours: it would very likely be viewed as illegal discrimination or harassment against an employee with a disability or medical condition to change the job to make it harder for her. In this case, you should speak to the federal EEOC or your state equal/civil rights agency about whether you can file a complaint.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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