Some employees think that merely having a serious medical or mental condition is enough to warrant ADA protection. But that’s not true.
Employees have to show that the condition is in fact a disability under the ADA before they can accuse their employer of disability discrimination.
Recent case: Juan Rullan has high blood pressure and claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. When his employer allegedly failed to pay him for overtime work, he sued, alleging disability discrimination.
But he didn’t explain to the court exactly how the two diagnoses affected his life. The court therefore dismissed the case without ever getting into what might have motivated a supervisor to withhold overtime payments. (Rullan v. New York City Department of Sanitation, et al., No. 10-CV-8079, SD NY, 2011)
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- Faced with allegations boss is biased, investigate ASAP and fire if necessary
- Don't 'call in sick' to avoid employment-tax obligation
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- Even if not job-related, consider granting easy disability accommodations