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Minnesota - Termination for Medical Condition?

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  • Minnesota - Termination for Medical Condition?

    Is it wrong for an employer to terminate an employee if they were recently diagnosed with a medical condition that has been affecting their work performance?

    Long story short: An employee was diagnosed with a medical condition that affects their balance and their thinking. Due to this condition, it has started affecting how they perform their job functions. Is there cause for termination?

  • #2
    An employer who falls under ADA and/or a state equivalent may not terminate an employee because they are diagnosed with a disability and a reasonable accommodation may need to be offeredm but the onus is on the employee to request one. However, neither must an employer tolerate sub-par performance even if the reason for that poor performance is a medical disability. If there isn't a reasonable accommodation which the employee requests which would permit them to perform to standard, they may be terminated legally.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Has the employee invoked ADA and have they asked for reasonable accommodations? If so has the employer interacted with them to see if there are any reasonable accommodations? If so and there are none, then generally the employer can let the employee go, but I would suggest running it by an employment attorney first. And consider paying severance to get a signed waiver/release of claims.

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      • #4
        If you haven't already, start specifically recording incidences of poor performance with all the data you can-dates, times, people involved, effects on the business, etc. No, you don't have to accept poor performance, but if it does come down to an ADA claim, the burden is on you to prove there is no reasonable accommodation which would enable the employee to continue to perform their duties.

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        • #5
          Definitely keep a record of the employee's performance issues before making a termination. You will have to consider a reasonable accommodation if the employee requests one under the ADA.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            ...but that accommodation does not have to include allowing poor performance.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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            • #7
              Agree but they have to offer one if employee requests one under ADA & there is a reasonable one that might work. If employee still does not have performance up to standards, they can terminate.
              Last edited by Betty3; 09-04-2015, 04:01 PM.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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