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A former manager at Tyler Roofing Co. recently filed suit against the company, claiming that his employment was terminated because he missed work to receive cancer treatments.

Jeffrey Harris, who was employed at Tyler Roofing for more than 10 years, filed suit claiming disability discrimination and violations of the FMLA in the Eastern District of Texas.

Harris, who was diagnosed with stage IV colon and liver cancer in March 2008, claimed that he informed his employer of his condition and was on medical leave until he was cleared to return to work in May 2008. Harris alleges that when he returned to work, he was informed that he would no longer be considered a salaried employee and that instead he would be paid hourly to answer the phone.

Harris also alleges that the president and CEO of Tyler Roofing told him he was being fired “because he was not able to work 40 hours a week due to chemo treatments and doctor visits.”

Final notes:
Don’t make assumptions about how someone diagnosed with a serious health condition or disability can handle his job. Instead, wait until he asks for help. Start the reasonable accommodations process at that point. Plus, make sure he knows how to request and take FMLA leave when needed. For cancer treatment, that may mean intermittent FMLA leave for chemo and other treatments.

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