Memphis, TN asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Tennessee

Q: Is it legal for an employer to fire you basied on your autoimmune disease without any bases for it effecting your work?

Coworker was told that their autoimmune disease was making them apparently seem unhappy and to seek help. That they could no longer work for the company due to it

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX

A: This is a tough question.

Under the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. An autoimmune disease can be, but is not necessarily, a disability. If it does not effect your work, it seems likely that it does not SUBSTANTIALLY limit one or more MAJOR life activity. But the answer to that question depends on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. "Seeming unhappy" does not sound like it satisfies the requirement.

While it may seem unfair, the ADA only prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability. If your autoimmune disease is NOT a disability because it does not substantially limit one or more major life activity, then your termination does not violate the ADA because it is not employment discrimination based on a disability.

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