Q: What can I do about what my employer did to me?
I was employed by a security company (unarmed and hands off) for 5 months. I had to go on medical leave because of my mental disabilities and alcoholism. I know I haven't worked the 12 months to qualify for FMLA but when I went on medical leave, my boss called and said they cannot keep someone with disabilities like min or alcoholism employed there. I told my boss that I was always sober when I worked my shift and my work performance did not suffer do to my mental disabilities and alcoholism and even the client on my work site said I did well on my job. He then said that didn't matter and that i cannot work for them because of my disabilities and alcoholism. I recorded our whole conversation as evidence. They said I had the option to resign which I refused to do. Now I'm out of a job. What can I do legally? This happened in California.
It is unlawful to terminate an employee due to his disability. While more facts need to be known, you likely may have a meritorious claim for disability discrimination.
I suggest you consult an employment law attorney who will further examine your situation and explain your options. Most employment law attorneys in California offer free-of-charge initial consultations and thereafter may take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay attorney’s fees unless and until there is a positive outcome for you. They may also advance either all or partial costs of litigation.
You can look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section or go to California Employment Lawyers Association (www.cela.org), an organization whose members are committed to representing employees’ rights. Best of luck.
Maya L. Serkova
Under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their physical or mental disabilities or medical conditions. Your employer's conduct, by terminating your employment due to your disabilities and alcoholism, may constitute disability discrimination.
You may want to consider filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. The DFEH will investigate your claim and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that your employer engaged in discriminatory behavior. If the DFEH finds probable cause, you may file a lawsuit against your employer for damages.
It's also important to note that California is an "at-will" employment state, meaning that an employer can terminate an employee for any reason, as long as it's not discriminatory or in violation of a public policy. If you believe your employer's conduct violated state or federal laws, you may want to consult with an employment lawyer to explore your legal options.
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