In the state of FL can I legally be fired for mental health reasons such as Depression? I was employed as a W-2 or 1099.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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In the state of FL can I legally be fired for mental health reasons such as Depression? I was employed as a W-2 or 1099.

I was fired from my 1099 position because
of depression. I received an email stating I
was fired due to my depression. I was up
front with my employer about my clinical
depression and was let go nearly 2 weeks
later. Am I not covered by the ADA, even
though Florida is a hire/fire at will state?

Asked on July 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you were fired for having depression, which would  be a violation of federal law and illegal--and in which case you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a complaint--or whether you were fired because of things or actions you did, even if they were caused by your depression, which would be illegal.
Employers may not discriminate on the basis of disability, which includes mental conditions, like depression. So having depression is not grounds for termination. But they are not required to retain employees who do not do their jobs, have unauthorized absenteeism or tardiness, who are disruptive, etc. So if due to your depression, your performance has been demonstrably poor, you have missed work without using paid time off or FMLA leave, you have disrupted the workplace, have damaged your employer's repuation with clients or customers--or worse, seemed to have posed a threat to yourself, coworkers, customers, or property--then you may legally be terminated for your actions.

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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