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I have bipolar disorder and my previous employment wreaked

havoc with my disability, causing...
I have bipolar disorder and my previous employment wreaked havoc with my disability, causing me to miss work, including using short term disability. I was laid off from the position during mass layoffs, not due to the missed work. I have not worked since that job (Nov 2016), as I have taken the time to get healthy. But now that I am healthy, I am back to submitting online applications that include a cover letter explaining that the time was to get healthy so I could be a better employee. I just received a phone call from a recruiter who told me that the employer who had laid me off was telling people about the missed work, which was due to my disability, and was the cause of employers to turn up their noses to my resume as a possible employee. Do I have possible recourse with them since it is in regard to a disability that I did take short term disability with?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: at will full time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I did provide a negative review of the company on Glassdoor, but anonymously.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/13/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,189
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

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

It is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act to discriminate against employees on the basis of a disability, or due to the employee taking leave as a reasonable accommodation for their disability. Therefore, telling prospective employers about a disabled employee's absence from work arguably constitutes a violation of the ADA.

Typically the best recourse would be to send a demand letter threatening to file suit if the statements continue. At this point, an actual lawsuit would probably not be wise because it is so hard to prove damages (you'd have to show that you lost a job opportunity because of the statements, and it's very hard to know for sure whether an employer would have otherwise hired you), but the mere threat of a lawsuit is usually enough to get the statements to stop moving forward. It would be best to retain a local attorney to send the letter as this makes you seem MUCH more serious about taking legal action, but if you cannot afford a letter you can certainly draft it yourself.

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.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,189
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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