• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

I was fired Wednesday. Do I have a case agains my former employer?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Ohio
Hello: I had worked as a staff accountant at a transit company for seven years. In 2010, I started to be reprimanded for sleeping at my desk. I consider this nodding off, not really "sleeping", if that makes any difference. Since my first reprimand, I sought medical help. At that time, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease, anemia and eventually sleep apnea. In December 2010, I needed a total hysterectomy which put me into surgical menopause and I had a horrible time with depression, anxiety and insomnia. Somehow I managed to come to work every day. The next year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy with reconstruction in January 2012. In November 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer in the other breast and required a second mastectomy. When I returned to work on January 1, my manager really slammed me with a poor review, bringing up all kinds of things I was doing wrong, although there had been no mention of these problems before I was off for surgery and technically we were to have a mid year review, but I did not get one. After this I struggled with depression, anxiety and insomnia again and once again I managed to drag myself to work everyday. I still had problems with dozing off on occasion. I take two medications that do cause sleepiness. I had a second sleep study and my cpap equipment was adjusted. I sit at a computer most of the day working on spreadsheets. Sometimes the scrolling through spreadsheets is rather hypnotic and on occasion would find my eyes closing for a few seconds. I had been reprimanded several times during this entire period. I tell my employer that this is something I can't control at all. When I do feel tired, I get up, walk around, go get some ice-water, etc. Her response is that it is not fair to the other employees if I am allowed to sleep at my desk, because it cheating the company. My manager's office is down the hall and she really doesn't know what is going on. Some of the other employees spend quite a bit of time, talking, joking, and goofing off, which apparently is ok. I fall asleep from medical problems and I am cheating everyone.

I was fired on 6/18, because a coworker told the manager that I was sleeping when she was gone for the day. Since I have had the health problems, I have been gossiped about and shunned at work. My manager is very chummy with all the others in our department, but not with me. I found out through a former coworker (who was fired after she went to HR to complain about our manager talking about everyone) that a close friend of my manager at work was basically spying on me on Facebook for my manager, then spreading rumors that I slept at my desk, because I was up on facebook all night - not true. My friend also told me that someone had told people that I had been disciplined for sleeping. I didn't say anything, so it would have to be HR or my manager.

Have I been discriminated against because of health issues? Is my manager allowed to share what I thought was private information about me?
Last edited:


I'm a Northern Girl
Even under the ADA I can't see allowing you to sleep at work, regardless of the reason, as being considered a reasonable accommodation, and if you asked for any accommodations I'm not seeing in your post where or when you did so.

Unless the information about your health issues was obtained from your company's self-insured health insurance policy or is related to the ADA, it is not considered protected so talking about it is not illegal. Unprofessional, yes. Illegal no.

All that said, I don't see that it would do you any harm to talk to an employment law attorney about what's happened and see what he or she thinks. Based on what's posted here I'm certainly not going to tell you, you have a slam dunk case but I'm not convinced there's nothing there, either. I'd need more detail and the detail I'd need, I don't think it would be wise for you to post.

Best I can give you is a definite maybe.


Junior Member
What I meant as far as sharing private information, was sharing that I had been disciplined for sleeping.

As far as accommodations, I had asked if I could get up and take a walk and I was told that it would be acceptable for a short period. The problem is that people seem to think I am doing this on purpose. I have no control over dozing off. It makes no difference if I had a good nights sleep or was unable to sleep the night before. If I was planning to sleep at work, why would I do it in front of everyone?
Last edited:


Senior Member
You need to file for unemployment insurance. This will help you clarify the issues, find out what your employer is going to say is the reason you are discharged, and may help you decide if spending any time with an attorney will be worth your while. Also, since any sort of lawsuit would be a long long time in the process, and might or might not pay off, you need to file for unemployment immediately, and if possible, start receiving unemployment benefits to provide you with some financial support.

They will ask all sorts of questions about the reason you were terminated, what you were told specifically, and had you had warnings. They will not be interested in how you were treated or whether or not you have been talked about or mistreated by your employer, or your health problems. And you need to be sure you tell them you are healthy enough to seek other work, or you will not be qualified for unemployment based on that. Unemployment is for those who are out of work through no fault of their own (which they will determine by decision after contacting both you and the employer and getting both sides of the story) and is able, available and actively seeking other full time work.

It will not be discussed or determined by unemployment if you have been discriminated against because of your disabilities or health issues, it will be determined if the employer had a valid misconduct (behavior you could control) issue that they fired you for. But whether you might have a lawsuit or not, you still need to file for unemployment first.


I'm a Northern Girl
Sharing that you were disciplined for sleeping does not violate any laws at all.

Unless you had self-identified as disabled and expressly requested an accommodation under the ADA, there is no protection. And as I said above, I very seriously doubt that allowing you to sleep at work would be considered reasonable. Getting up and walking around might be, but it doesn't sound as if you made the request under the auspices of the ADA.

Still not seeing a slam-dunk. Still thinking that more detail might provide a different answer. Consult local counsel.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential