As a regular employee in South Dakota, you have the right to certain benefits. If you’re injured, fall ill or become disabled on the job, it’s your legal right to obtain disability benefits. However, you might want to know if you can get fired while on disability leave and what might happen in that situation.
What protections are available to you if you’re disabled?
Through the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are considered disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that limits your daily activities considerably. The ADA protects you if you have a disability and makes it illegal for your employer to discriminate against you. Your impairment must be considered substantial. Some examples include blindness, deafness, speech impairment, paralysis, and breathing limitations.
Per the ADA, your employer is required to provide you with reasonable accommodations so that you are able to perform the normal tasks of your job. These might include ramps, special software and equipment to help you see or hear, and other assistive things. You may also get a modified work schedule or job itself to accommodate your disability status. If your disability occurred after you were already working at your job, your employer is also required to provide you with reasonable accommodations.
What if your employer fires you while you’re on disability?
As the ADA protects individuals with disabilities, if you are fired due to a disability, it’s against the law. Most employers refrain from firing employees while they are on disability out of fear of facing lawsuits. However, there may be times when the employer doesn’t believe there is any reasonable way that a person on disability would be able to resume their position if it’s been vacant for a certain length of time.
If you were fired while on disability and believe your employer discriminated against you, you have a right to file a claim against them. This can be done through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the date of your termination. If the EEOC determines that discrimination occurred, you may get rehired, paid back wages, and provided reasonable accommodations.
Employers are supposed to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities. If you are out on disability and suddenly get fired, you might have cause to file a lawsuit for discrimination.