What to do if I was demoted and got a pay cut and was told in writing that it was because my illness has effected my job?

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What to do if I was demoted and got a pay cut and was told in writing that it was because my illness has effected my job?

Can I be demoted with out warning or being written up? I have never been in any trouble at work or even told I was not doing well. I have cervical cancer and an auto-immune disease but have taken off only a few times in the year I have been with the company.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

Brenda Feigen / Feigen Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In California (where I practice) and some other states being demoted or discriminated against because the employee has cancer is illegal.  The company must make reasonable accomodation to your illness.  Talk to HR first.  if it's as bad as it sounds and you can show monetary damage, call me at 310-271-0606 or email me at bfeigen@feigenlaw.com.  Good luck and best.  Brenda Feigen

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may wish to speak with an employment law attorney. The law does not prohibit employers from taking negative employment action--including demotions and pay cuts, and up to termination--for employees who have performance or attendence issues due to illnesses or medical conditions, unless the condition would be considered a disability. If it would be a disability, then a company must make "reasonable accomodations" in terms of duties or schedule, to allow you to work (assuming that it can do so without it being too expensive or disruptive for the employer) and also may not discriminate against the employee in employment because of her disability.  The issue, then, is whether your condition(s) would constitute a disability, and that is best discussed in detail with employment counsel.  Good luck.


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