Despite the fact that it is against the law, it is not uncommon for workers in Florida and across the United States to be fired for a disability. In some cases, the former worker goes away and finds another job. In others, the employee fights for his or her rights.
Mears Transportation, a well known taxi company in Central Florida, has been hit with a lawsuit for alleged disability discrimination. The plaintiff claims that he was terminated last year because he was HIV positive.
The lawsuit, which was recently filed in federal court in Orlando, stated that the man was hired in October 2011 and let go during the summer of 2013. It states that the man was diagnosed with HIV shortly after beginning work for the company. He admitted to taking several leaves, as he was entitled to do under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but also said he was able to continue performing his job as required.
The lawsuit describes the parting of ways in greater detail, saying, "In the middle of 2013, his supervisor and some other employees accused him of some ugly things, and indicated that [he] was not a ‘good fit' for the company anymore." The plaintiff says there was no "real investigation" into those claims.
After the complaint was presented to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the driver was provided with the right to sue.
Anyone who believes that he or she was terminated or otherwise treated unfairly in their job as the result of a disability has every right to seek justice. Florida attorneys who specialize in employment law can advise people on the best course of action for their particular circumstances.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Mears Transportation driver files HIV discrimination lawsuit" Paul Brinkmann, Jun. 20, 2014