Can I be discriminated against discriminate due to my learning disability?

UPDATED: Jul 12, 2012

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Can I be discriminated against discriminate due to my learning disability?

I was fired from a job while in training because it was my first time working in the area of the plant. I was doing my job to the best of my ability, I was asking my trainer questions, keeping my work area clean, and offering help when I could. When they fired me they said that it was due to “my inability to learn” and that I “wasn’t cleaning up my work area” and I then told her that I had been cleaning up my work area and that I was training all day. Then she said again “I cannot help that you have an inability to learn and I’m not here to babysit”. Is that discrimination?

Asked on July 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, do you have an actual diagnosed learning disability? That is critical to whether your discriminated against. Some people are slower learners, either generally or of specific tasks/jobs, but do not have a learning disability; without an diagnosed disability, they would most likely not be protected under the anti-discrimination laws.

Second, even if you do have a learning disability, the employer's obligation is only to provide a "reasonable accomodation" to the disability, or to provide some changes in how the job is done, or assistive technology or devices to help you do the job, so long as the cost or disruption of doing so is not too great. If however you simply cannot do the job, even with some accomodations, the employer is not obligated to keep employing you.

If you do have a diagnosed learning disability, it would be worthwhile to consult with an employment law attorney to evaluate whether, under these circumstances, you do have a case.

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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