Being let go from your job almost never seems like a fair scenario. Now, consider being let go from your job while being out from work on a medical leave due to a disability. Sound unfair? Maybe even illegal? Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) argued this may actually be the case for former Lowe’s employees. Workers were let go after using up all their medical leave time and not being granted additional time off when they weren’t yet well enough to return to their posts. According to the American with Disabilities Act, the EEOC argues that these workers should not have been subject to a wrongful termination but rather been granted an accommodation by way of additional time off.
If Lowe’s, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, can make this alleged mistake, the layoff you may have experienced may not be legal either. This sort of wrongful termination cost Lowe’s big as they had to resolve the dispute by paying $8.6 million to eligible ex-employees who were allegedly unlawfully discharged for this reason. The other portion of the resolution called for Lowe’s employment practices to be in complete compliance with federal law. Company policy and procedures would have to be accepting of requests for reasonable accommodation in regards to extra time off when a worker ending their medical leave is unable to return to work. Lowe’s will also have to establish improved record keeping methods in regards to requests for medical leaves as well as extensions to leaves.
Losing your job can be a stressful experience. If you or anyone you know has been terminated from their job while on a medical leave, please call an employment lawyer. The employment attorneys at Fitapelli & Schaffer have experience handling cases of wrongful termination due to all kinds of discrimination. Please call for a free phone consultation at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for more information www.fslawfirm.com.