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I am currently a tenured professor at the University of

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I am currently a...

I am currently a tenured professor at the University of South Florida Health Sciences. I have been on compulsory medical leave for last two months for health reasons : Severe generalized anxiety which interfered with assigned duties. I underwent a fitness for duty evaluation the results of which have not yet been provided to me. I need to have signoff from examiner before I can return to work. I would like to know my rights in case they try to terminate me such as qualification for disability.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Full time faculty position not in union

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nothing I can think of.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
12/11/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,380
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thanks so much for your patience. Generally, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person cannot be terminated from their employment on the basis of their disability. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA,, a person that has a disability is owed at least reasonable accommodations in their job if they do have a disability. If there is a minimum level of fitness that is required and if the employer cannot provide reasonable accommodations, only then can they terminate employment with that person without incurring legal liability.

In your case, if you are dealing with conditions that are preventing you from being able to operate normally, then they have to at least provide some reasonable accommodations which could include things like a shortened work schedule or some other accommodations specific to your situation to help you out. Otherwise, if they terminate you without providing reasonable accommodations, then you may have a claim that is prohibited by state and federal law.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office in your area will serve as the agency that would oversee the complaint, should you decide to file one. There are some basic processes that the EEOC files that I think you should be aware of, and I have listed them below:

The initial pre-complaint process can be found at 29 C.F.R. §1614.105. This is the process whereby you may bring this action to an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor within 45 days. The Counselors must advise
individuals in writing of their rights and responsibilities, including the right to request a hearing after an investigation by the agency. The process may go through informal mediation wherein the employer and the employee try to come to a reasonable agreement. It’s voluntary and I highly recommend it in most cases.

Regardless, the EEO Counselor will issue a report based on their initial findings. Once the employee receives notice of the findings, they have 15 days to file a formal complaint.

The formal complaint process can be found at 29 C.F.R. §1614.106-108. Basically, the EEO will conduct a full investigation and come up with a Report of Investigation. The employee has the right to request an administrative hearing with an administrative judge after receiving the ROI or they may sue in a federal district court. Mediation is always still on the table. If the parties cannot mediate, then the parties will go through the administrative process or a federal civil proceedings and then the judge will issue a “Final Agency Decision” (for administrative hearings) or a ruling (for civil actions) If the employee doesn’t like the decision, then they can always appeal. A quick Google search will reveal your local EEO office so check that out.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I just don't know if my condition qualifies as a disability.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Yes, anxiety is a condition that is covered under the ADA and Section 504. It doesn't have to be a physical disability. D id you have any other questions for me?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
then I would need to get confirmation of the anxiety diagnosis from a psychiatrist?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

You won't need confirmation; however, it would certainly help!

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Hello, it’s been awhile since we connected so I wanted to check in with you to see if you had any further before you rated. If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with today. Please reply here and let me know.

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