Can I Be Fired Because of My ADD?
Our lawyers get a great deal of clients calling because they were fired for having attention-deficit-disorder (ADD). Working with ADD can be tough but working with an employer who treats an employee with ADD unfairly can be devastating. Individuals with disabilities are protected from illegal firing under federal and state law if the motivating factor for their termination was due to their disability. Furthermore, if the employee can complete the core functions of their job with reasonable accommodations, then the employer must provide those accommodations.
Working in an environment where the employee’s attention deficit disorder is made fun of, berated or otherwise targeted can be emotionally distressing. Having a trained workplace lawyer by your side can help to punish this sort of activity and more importantly preventing it from ever happening to anyone again.
What Is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)?
- ADD is a developmental disability that is estimated to affect between 3-5% of the school age population. The exact cause of ADD is unknown but it is believed to be caused by certain genetic and environmental factors. Some experts believe that a chemical imbalance contributes to the blossoming of the disorder. The main symptoms of ADD includes inattention, hyperactivity, and the lack of ability to control impulses. This is why having ADD at work is extremely difficult—without being able to focus for extended periods of time, it is extremely difficult to carry out essential work duties.
Can I Sue My Employer For Firing Me Because I have ADD?
It depends. If the main reason your employer terminates your employment is because you have ADD, then it is likely that they engaged in wrongful termination. However, you must be able to show that the harassment you endured or the abuse you suffered was due to your ADD. Common examples of clear harassment due to your ADD include:
- You’ve been screamed and you’ve been told, “your ADD is flaring up again!”
- Your employer fails to hire you because of your ADD
- A supervisor makes fun of you because of your ADD
- Your boss demotes you because of your ADD
- Your employer singles you out because of your ADD
What Are My Rights Under State Law?
California provides individuals with ADD protection under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). However, an employer that engages in ADD discrimination must have at last 5 employees or more in order for the protections to kick in. Furthermore, an employer has the opportunity to provide reasonable accommodations to the individual with ADD before the individual can be sued for wrongful termination. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Altering job duties
- Providing some leave in order to tend to the disability
- Altering work schedules in a reasonable way
- Changing the employees work area
- Providing some type of mechanical aid to assist the employee in carrying out job functions
The process of figuring out exactly what type of accommodations should be utilized is a concept known as the “interactive process.” In California, an employer must engage in a well-timed, good faith, interactive process. The main focus of the interactive process is to promote a dialogue between the employer and employee in order to break down barriers that would prevent disabled parties from performing work duties.
What Are My Rights Under Federal Law?
Under Federal law, employees are protected from ADD discrimination, but the rules are slightly different. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 by then President George H.W. Bush. President Bush’s main goal was to provide protections for disabled individuals not only at work, but for other facets of life as well.
In order for the employee to viably file a claim under the ADA for attention deficit disorder discrimination, the employer must have at least 15 employees at the time the discrimination occurred. Further, the employee who is claiming discrimination must have a recognized disability. Also, the ADA does not directly list ADD as a disorder, rather they list factors that determine whether a specific condition can qualify as a recognized mental disability. The factors to determine whether a person has a disability include whether the person:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities: ADD most likely limits your ability to work at your job (a major life activity) as it makes it difficult to focus for extended periods of time. Being able to focus at work is of utmost importance.
- there is a record of this impairment: this includes a previous diagnosis of ADD
- they are perceived by others to have an impairment: this prong is satisfied as long the employee gives some notice to the employer of the condition.
Talk To A Discrimination Lawyer Today!
Free Consultations and You Pay NOTHING Unless We Win!
The lawyers at Miracle Mile Law Group offer free case evaluations to those who have been fired because of their attention deficit disorder (ADD). With years of experience, our attorneys work only on a contingency basis, meaning they do not receive any fees until they win your case.
Having a lawyer by your side when trying to prove that you have been discriminated against due to your ADD is of utmost importance. If you were terminated based on your ADD, contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are absolutely no upfront costs, and the lawyers DO NOT get paid unless we win! Call us at (888) 244-0706 to schedule your free case review. Miracle Mile Law Group is dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals suffering from ADD who work hard every day.