Q: Terminated while hospitalized.
My brother is a 72 y/o male, he had a collapsed lung the last part of April this year and was of work for a week, Ihe had another collapsed lung June 11th and was in ICU for about 6 days then in a regular room 7 days and now in rehab to learn to walk again, His employer called me (I was staying with him while hospitalized), and asked me how (without hurting his rehab progress) he could tell him that he was firing and replacing him the 1st of July. Is this legal?
A: More information is needed, as this will depend on what your brother's job is and what his essential job functions are, as well as how long he is expected to remain off work while undergoing rehab. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled employees are permitted to request accommodations that enable them to perform their job, and employers may not discriminate against employees based on a disability. However, accommodation requests must be reasonable, and courts have held that employers need not hold open an employee's job for an indefinite period of time. For example, if your brother is required to remain off work for an extended period of time, his employer could argue that leaving his position unstaffed will jeopardize the business.
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