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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Disability after being fired

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Minnesota

    I was terminated from my job about 6 months ago for "not fitting in" after 10 years of employment at the same company. About 2-3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. I was on medication, but both the medication and the epilepsy affected my performance.

    I told my employer about both the epilepsy and the side effects. They had me take a month off 2 years ago. When I came back it seemed like things were going okay. But then, a year ago I was written up (for the first time EVER) for having an argument with my superior, that I HONESTLY do not remember (we think I had a small seizure). I IMMEDIATELY went to my doctor and we thought it could be the medication. He agreed, and I was switched to another medication. A couple months later, I had my review and it seemed like things were going better. Then all of a sudden I got let go about 4 months after that - and the only thing I was told is that I was not "a good fit".

    I have been told many different things from people - from sueing them to filing for disability (the company had private long-term disability insurance). I'm really confused and not sure what I should do. I have been looking for a job, but in the past few months, have been seeing an epilepsy specialist and have found out that it is MUCH more serious then we originally thought. All of my doctors agree that my work performance was DEFINITELY affected by my epilepsy.

    Should I sue? (I'm not a sueing-type of person). Or should I simply apply for disability thru the company's plan. I'm not entirely sure what that would entail. I really just want to get on with my life and get a new job, but I am fighting with this epilepsy (we JUST got a combo of meds that seem to work).

    Plus, this has been about 6 months ago - has too much time passed to do anything?

    Any advice would be great! Thanks much!!What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    I don't know whether too much time has passed or not as I don't know the particulars of your former employer's LTD Plan. What you need to do is contact them, obtain an LTD claim form AND a copy of the LTD insurance certificate. Then review the language in the Plan certificate that defines disability for purposes of the Plan. The issue here is whether you met the Plan's definition of disability at the time you were terminated. You also need to determine how long one has to file an LTD claim following termination/being determined by your doctor as fully disabled. FYI, LTD Plans have a pretty stringent definition of "disabled" - much stricter than short-term disability plans.

    You can't proceed with filing a claim without this information. You can't proceed with a suit for disability benefits against the employer's carrier until you have filed a claim and been denied.

    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Before you could sue, you would have to have a right to sue letter from the EEOC and/or the state equivalent. You are just about at the limit of time to file with the EEOC and yes, you may have waited too long. You still have time to file with the MN Human Rights Commission.

    However, I am not seeing anything like a slam dunk case. First, I am not seeing anywhere in your post where you asked for an accomodation of any kind (note - their being aware of your condition is NOT the same as asking for an accomodation). Second, even WITH an accomodation, they are not required to accept behavior that they would not accept in a non-disabled employee; nor are they required to accept sub-par performance EVEN IF your disabilty is causing the performance issues.

    Your only shot at a lawsuit, and then only if you are issued a right to sue letter from one of the above agencies (which will be a minimum of six months from now even if you file today), is if their investigation shows that you were fired SOLELY because you have epilepsy and for no other reason; not performance, not behavioral, not anything else. The fact that they kept you on for two years after learning of your condition is not supportive of that finding.

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