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Choose words carefully when challenging unemployment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

When you challenge an unemployment claim, what you say can come back to haunt you.

Recent case: Stuart Kessler developed acute leukemia and requested a leave of absence from the state agency where he worked. The agency approved this reasonable accommodation.

Then, while he was still on leave, he got a termination letter with no reason stated. He applied for unemployment.

The Agency for Workforce Innovation called Kessler to inform him that it had received a fax from the agency challenging his claim and stating it had terminated him because of his health.

Kessler then sued, alleging disability discrimination.

The court said the case could proceed and Kessler could use the fax as direct evidence of discrimination. (Kessler v. Florida Department of Revenue, No. 09-10079, SD FL, 2010) 

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