Chicago, IL asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Illinois

Q: Can my job fire me for not telling them I have a mental illness?

They made us sign a paper saying that I must disclose all medical conditions including mental illness and if I withhold any information and they find out I could get fired. So if I were to show up to work and told someone I had depression they said that they could fire me for that. But is this even legal? Can they fire someone from withholding medical records? Or for having a mental illness?

2 Lawyer Answers
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: More information is needed to explore your situation, but this certainly sounds like it could be an unlawful practice. You should consult an employment law attorney in your area to discuss.

1 user found this answer helpful

Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Your question isn't about employment law. Rather, it is about contract law. So long as the subject in terms of the contract do not involve contraband or other illegal activity, it has long been established that a person's right to contract is unlimited. Nobody "makes" you do anything. What you meant to say is that you were required to execute the document you described as a condition of employment. That means that you had every right to decide not to sign it and not to work for them. We cannot explore the reason for the provision because we do not know and any discussion would be pure conjecture. Once you execute the agreement, you agree to be bound by it. That said, depression and other mental illnesses can manifest themselves at any time. So long as you were unaware of any mental illness and or no mental illness had been diagnosed at the time you executed the agreement, a later diagnosis of mental illness would not be a reason for dismissal, under the agreement. Dependent upon the type of work you do, there may be multiple reasons why you should not perform that type of work if you are suffering from mental illness. That part of the analysis requires far more information.

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