A brief, transient medical episode that quickly resolves, leaving a worker as well as before the incident, isn’t a disability and doesn’t mean the employee is covered by the ADA or its later amendments.
Recent case: Danny worked as a wind turbine technician. The job was dangerous and required him to work up to 300 feet off the ground and sometimes in extreme temperatures, especially in the summer. When he became dizzy, disorientated and developed blurry vision while working on a turbine, he went to the emergency room. Doctors diagnosed dehydration and possible heat stroke and released him a few hours later with directions to take three days off work.
Shortly after, he was fired for alleged safety violations. He sued, alleging disability discrimination. But the court said his dehydration episode wasn’t a disability. It was extremely brief and never recurred. (Willis v. Noble Environmental, ND TX)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Memo to managers: There's no reason to discuss why employee was terminated
- New Yorkers' EEOC claims fell--just slightly--in 2011
- Biggest Investigation Error: Skipping the Follow-Up Phase
- When accommodation is impossible, it's OK to discharge disabled worker