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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11289
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am a contractor working through and agency but working at

Customer Question

I am a contractor working through and agency but working at client. Due to recent illness I've had unplanned Dr's appoitments due to health issue - can client terminate contract due to my health issue?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Under the "joint employer" doctrine, the client in this scenario would have an obligation to "reasonably accommodate" your medical condition if that condition rises to the level of a "disability." A "disability is any medical condition which "significantly impairs a major life function." Minor illnesses, colds and flus do not rise to this level, but most more serious conditions do. A "reasonable accommodation" may include allowing a disabled employee to take protected time off work for doctor's appointments.

So, if your condition qualifies as a disability, the client KNOWS you have a disability (it is important you inform them if they are not already aware) and if they could reasonable accommodate you by allowing you to take time off work for appointments then it would be illegal for them to terminate you because of your doctor's visits. Termination under such circumstance would give rise to a claim for violation of the ADA. Such claim would be pursued by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which you can do here. The EEOC will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution with the employer. That not forthcoming, they will either file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue you a "right to sue" letter, which will enable you to sue in civil court with the assistance of an attorney.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Is there a phone we could reach you at to discuss further?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Unfortunately, I cannot talk to customers on the phone. I am, however, more than happy to address any followup questions you may have here through this forum. Please let me know what more I can do to assist you here.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
my husband for an IT agency and his client is the one that I believe is unfairly terminating his contract due to recent dr appointment at busy time for client. Does the agency get involved or would this be between my husband and client. How would agency handle. Would you advise that we mention we might like to pursue a lawsuit against the client for illegal termination??
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

The agency can certainly put pressure on the client, but ultimately it would only be the client that is liable. Both the client and the agency should be informed that your husband has a disability and that allowing his doctor visit was a form of reasonable accommodation and that you believe termination to be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. This should be enough to get them to reconsider their decision, but if they don't your next step would be to file a complaint with the EEOC as indicated above.

It's best not to be too threatening at this stage as that can cause the client to dig in their heals and make it less likely your husband will be hired back. My general rule of thumb with legal matters is that it's better to ask for something before you demand it.

I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Do you know if anxiety attacks treated by MD fall under "disability". Background, my husband had an anxiety attack at work and told his boss then followed up with MD appt and additional MD referral - now she is saying since you are unable to fulfill your obligation - term contract.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Yes, severe anxiety can qualify as a disability. Ultimately, though, there is no "list" of conditions which meet the definition. Each case is judged on its unique facts. What you describe certainly may qualify as a disability, entitling your husband to reasonable accommodations. I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Do you thing this would be a case worth pursueing with local attorney?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

It very well may be if they won't hire him back and the EEOC is unable to mediate a resolution. Most lawyers take cases like this on a contingency fee basis. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim). So, there is really not much of a downside to proceeding with such a case.

I hope this helps.