Has anyone had to deal with ADA or employment discrimination before?

I hope no one has dealt with workplace discrimination, but am also hoping someone might have some helpful information.
Recently I was laid off and the reason I was given was based primarily on my loss of driving privlidges due to seizures. Please note, driving is not a necessary function of my job and my managers were made aware of my situation from the get-go. I am fairly certain this goes against the ADA regulations, but am drowning in a sea of legal-ese trying to figure out what my options are. Obviously, since I’m laid off and not making money now, I don’t have the cash to just go out and hire lawyers.
Anyone dealt with this before?

If driving is NOT a necessary part of your job, then I’m certain this is against ADA. I am not an HR expert, but I have a girlfriend who just got her Masters in it. I’m going to email her and find out if she has some info or advice or something to help you out with this.

Thanks so much for checking it out! I talked to our HR gal, but she didn’t really know. We both had the ‘that’s not right’ feeling from it though.

ok- just got some advice from an HR Director. If in fact the reason they let you go was driving and this is NOT a necessary part of your job, then it IS a violation of ADA. Now I have no idea what your situation is or what else may have been valid or not valid reasons to let you go, but the company you work for can’t use “driving” as a reason if it really is not the reason. If they had let you go for performance issues or cause they were reducing the workforce or other things, or becuase you had attendance problems (which “might” be related to your not driving but they would need to say “attendance”) then you may not have a strong case. But if they did SPECIFY driving, then you should be able to fight it.

First, he suggested that you write the company a letter indicating that driving wasn’t a valid reason and that you would like them to reconsider your employment. He also said that this would most likely not work and that you SHOULD consult an attorney who can review all the specifics of your job, the reasons you were let go, and all other factors. You don’t have cash-no problem. Talk with Legal Aid in Columbus http://www.columbuslegalaid.org/services.php or find a good plaintiff attorney (look online at forums about workers lawsuits) who won’t charge you for the initial meeting to determine if this is something worth fighting. And after the fact, the attorney would most likely just take a percentage of any settlement you receive. The attorney will know after a quick review if your case holds merit and can be fought.

He did NOT recommend filing with an EEOC as there is a long backlog for them and this would also go through federal court which puts a limit on punative damages of $300k. State courts don’t have that limit so if you won you could get more (I’m not a fan of taking advantage and requesting millions of dollars, but sometimes money talks, gets publicity, and prevents this same thing happening to someone else…so who am I to try to moralize it!!!)

I’m guessing this is a “smaller” company and that they don’t have the HR expertise (based on your HR gal not knowing) to realize that they just violated ADA. This will work in your favor if that is the case and they most likely wouldn’t want to spend the money to fight a wrongful termination lawsuit. Maybe they would just settle.

Hope this helps!

That’s a lot of help, thanks! I’ve been in touch with several agencies about the complaint process, but no one is very helpful and no one will give me a definite on whether it’s worth fighting. The EEOC has doesn’t even answer their phone so I can see why your friend is not recommending them.

I’m not really out for the cash aspect of it, although I wouldn’t mind a little bit of money to pay the bills now that I rely on unemployment. Like you said, I don’t want to be one of those people who tries to sue McDonalds because their coffee is hot, but I want the company to recognize the error and stop playing it off. Suprisingly, it’s a huge company that I work for, but our local HR just doesn’t deal with that sort of thing. I’ve never had any attendance issues and not been late to work once. I even came in on evenings and weekends. The whole thing is stupid really.

Thanks again for the info and be sure to tell your friend thanks so much too! It’s a shame I’d even have to bring it up, but unfortunately it seems to be a common thing.

Well if it is a large company, then maybe the first suggestion of writing a letter to the corporate HR dept explaining how the local business unit has messed up would work? That is assuming that you want your job back. It would save time, effort, etc if it was that easy. But I don’t know how you feel about going back after the lay off.

And if it is a large company, then getting with a plaintiff attorney who can contact their legal dept for HR could result in a quick settlement as well. If they really did mess up locally, the corporate office may recognize this and just want to make it “go away” and settle.

Good luck! Let me know what you are able to find out.

ten years ago i was finished due to ill health (epilepsy) took the firm for unfair dissmissal and won they have to treat you like any other employee see citizens advice or something similar they will tell you best on how to go about it . They are well wrong best of luck xxxx