There are various State, Federal and local laws that prohibit disability discrimination in the work place. These laws have slight differences in what is considered a disability, but most mental and/or physical impairments will be protected in some form. Employers are required to be sensitive to these impairments and make reasonable efforts to ensure employees with these conditions can earn an honest living.
Employers can be liable for outright discrimination, but also discrimination based on the perception that an employee has a disability. Often times employers do not want the “hassle” of dealing with employees who have gotten sick and create pretextual reasons for terminating or demoting them. That is why employees who feel they have been discriminated against must reach out to experienced counsel as soon as the discrimination begins. Employees who have been terminated for this type of discrimination can be entitled to back pay, front pay, lost wages, and even emotional distress.