Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
When you say you're on Disability, is that through Social Security or a private insurance provided by your employer?
Can you tell me a little more about the types of things your employer is doing? Are these things that occurred after you told them that you can't stand for 8 hours a day?
In order to evaluate whether you have any sort of cause of action against your employer for a hostile work environment, I'm afraid I really do need you to tell me what they've been doing. That's why I asked. Hostile work environment would be a separate cause of action that could carry punitive damages if you're being discriminated against because of your race, gender, or disability. But I understand if you'd prefer not to talk about it; we can still talk about the insurance.
Generally, when a person applies for disability coverage they are saying "I am physically incapable of working." That means, if you were to start working elsewhere while receiving disability, they could find that you're no longer eligible for payments. Worse, they might investigate whether you were truly disabled when you received the payments. What you'll have to do is read through the insurance policy. Sometimes, you'll be allowed to work a certain number of hours or certain types of tasks without losing your disability benefits. But it depends 100% on what the policy says, because there isn't a general right to disability payments outside what is authorized by that contract (until you qualify for SSDI).
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If they're targeting you because you have a medical condition, that's illegal. You can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asking them to send you what is called a "Right to Sue" letter.
Any local attorney could help you with that. If you win a disability discrimination claim against your employer, they can be ordered to pay your attorney's fees, so it might be worth looking for someone to represent you. Most lawyers who do these cases take them on contingency, which means you only pay if you win.
Did you have any other questions about this?