Discrimination based on perceived disability

A few weeks ago I had my first seizure ever and was admitted to the hospital. When I returned to work the following week a company owner came to my office and went into a story about how he had a family dog that had seizures. He stated that he couldn�t have a dog like that in his house and if the dog had one more seizure he would put him to sleep. He also told me a story about a housekeeper who had a seizure and that he had to fire her because he couldn�t have �one of those people� around his family.

Approximately 2 weeks later a supervisor stated that there had been ongoing issues with my work performance and attendance (despite getting a raise the month before) and that I was being offered a severance agreement or a six months probation. The timing of this meeting was very suspect in relation to my seizure and I�d had a similar conversation with threats to my employment with the same company owner when I came back to the office after surgery the prior year. I asked if I could have 24 hours to review the terms of the severance agreement. I was told that this was �not a negotiation� and I had to make a choice between the two options or lose my job. I made some changes to the agreement for my benefit without an attorney or any other witnesses present and signed the revised severance agreement.

Could this be discrimination based on a perceived disability and a covert effort to get me out of the office because of a fear that I could have a seizure at work?

1 answer  |  asked Sep 11, 2007 01:47 AM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Christopher McKinney
Perceived Disability

Yes it could. And not terribly covert at that. You need to speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible. You will want to make sure you take your severance agreement so that she or she can review it for any language that might act to release your employer from liability. Such language is frequently found in such agreements.

posted by Christopher McKinney  |  Sep 11, 2007 08:54 AM [EST]

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