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Wikrin

Fired for requesting accommodation.

5 posts in this topic

I work as a temporary clerk with a state agency. My employer is the state. At my previous assignment, I was able to get an ADA Accommodation put in place where I worked four days a week instead of five. It has helped in the past if I have a day mid-week to "cool down," actually get some rest. I got reassigned last week, as my old assignment was up. I sent an email to the person I had previously worked with in setting up my original accommodation. I got a call from the person that leads the temporary clerical agency today, telling me not to go to work tomorrow. I was told they don't have any "part-time positions," despite thirty hour weeks being (as I understand it) technically full time, according to the IRS. They said they would let me know if any part-time assignments became available. As far as I understand it, they don't actually do part-time assignments, so I don't expect to hear from them any time soon.

For the sake of clarity, I'll include my original inquiry:
 

Quote

As I’ve recently been provided with a new work assignment, my previous accommodation is no longer in place. I’m writing to verify the process for resubmission. Specifically, is there anything I need to do? Do I start by informing you, or should I first speak with my supervisor? Will I have to fill out the associated paperwork once again, or will it being on file suffice? If my previous accommodation does not prove viable given the current assignment, am I able to request an alternative, or would that require more paperwork? I apologize if any of the answers seem obvious. Thank you for your time.


And the response I got:
 

Quote

I spoke with ****** ********* ******** (***) this morning regarding your accommodation to work a part-time schedule (30 hours to include a Monday or Tuesday off). At this time, *** does not have an assignment which will accommodate this request. As such, *** will be removing you from your current, full-time assignment and will notify you directly when an assignment is available that can accommodate this request. If you have additional questions on the accommodation, you may contact me directly. If you have any questions regarding your current or any upcoming assignments, you may contact *** directly at ***.***.****. I have copied ***** ******** on this email.


It seems pretty shady to me. They never talked to me about other possible ADA Accommodations, even though I specifically asked about them. I have remained polite up to this point, as being hostile isn't going to help. My buddy's wife works for the same people and she talked to some lawyers about it. Seems fairly clear that they removed me from my assignment (essentially firing me) for even inquiring about an ADA Accommodation. I don't know whether or not it counts, though, since the doctor that I worked with to get things put in place amended their diagnosis to "Cataplexy + Hypersomnia" before I left to find a more competent sleep specialist. I don't see my new doctor until the middle of next month.

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Are you paid hourly? Or are you essentially being given paid leave? If they effectively fired you, contact an employment attorney. If they think you have a case, they'll often do it for free since I believe actions brought under the ADA provide for mandatory attorney fees if successful. 

 

(i) A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

(ii) A public entity is not required to provide a reasonable modification to an individual who meets the definition of “disability” solely under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of disability at § 35.108(a)(1)(iii).

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Paid hourly. I'd be working fewer hours, and therefore making less money. But, like I pointed out, it wasn't the sort of situation where I was planning on quitting if the accommodation wasn't made. I specifically asked if there was anything else they could do, if four-day weeks weren't possible. :/

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You could inquire as to when such a position would be available and state again you are open to other accommodations. You can fire someone without firing them. It's referred to as constructive termination. It doesn't sound like any attempt was made to reasonably accommodate you. 

The more unreasonable they seem the better from a legal standpoint. I'm an attorney but don't do employment law so I'm not sure on the specifics. 

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Dunno about the legalese but sorry to hear :(

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