Americans with disabilities act...Can he be fired?

My husband has recently been called into his employer's office because he refused to work during a day shift without having several weeks notice. My husband took a third shift job because he has ulcerative colitis and I am legally blind. The only way we can get to our regularly scheduled doctor appointments is for him to work at night. He doesn't mind and it works out best for us. Now, his supervisor wants to switch him around every now and then at a moments notice. They switched him to 1st shift for 2 weeks. They are also saying that he cannot use my blindness as an excuse for not working 12-14 hour shifts without prior notice. We are wondering if it is legal under the Americans With Disabilities Act for his employers to fire him or take disciplinary action against him because he cannot work days without more than 24 hours notice? Not many people volunteer to work a third shift job and his boss knew he took the job because of our disabilities and need for regular doctor visits


Yes, my husband himself is mildly disabled by the ulcerative colitis. He does not use it as an excuse to miss work at any time though. He goes to work even when he has flair ups and is in extreme pain. The only days he ever missed work were when he was hospitalized with pancreatitis. Even then, he went back to work the same night he was released from the hospital.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Yes. Contact your local Center for Independent Living to file a complaint with the Department of Justice. He has rights as your spouse.

    Does the ADA protect people who do not have disabilities but have a relationship to or association with a person with a disability?

    Yes. The ADA prohibits discrimination based on "relationship or association" in order to protect people from actions based on unfounded assumptions that their relationship to a person with a disability would affect their job performance, and from actions caused by bias or misinformation concerning disabilities. For example, the ADA would protect a person with a disabled spouse or child from being denied employment because of an employer's unfounded assumption that the applicant would use excessive leave to care for the disabled spouse or child. It would also protect a person who does volunteer work for people with AIDS from a discriminatory employment action motivated by that relationship or association.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This sounds as if the company is wanting to get rid of your husband...he needs to keep very careful documentation of this company's actions, when, where, who....and keep them in a file. IF he is written up, keep copies of all this paper work. IF you have proof of his working evening shifts, that goes into the file...everything necessary to institute a legal suit against the employer..the employer is trying to make your husband quit his job...perhaps he makes more than a new person will be paid??? Whatever the reason, the company's actions are not of a caring employer at this time..they will have the onus of proof that he was needed for specific shifts for X amount of time...they will have to prove they are not harrassing him, and with what you have written, it sounds like harrassment to me. I think you need to see a lawyer who specializes in disability claims, and lawsuits over same. You probably have a real case now, and if the company does not stop this action(s), keep all records. IF I were he, I would carry a pocket recorder to all meetings with his boss and tape everything that was said....EVERYTHING! Given enough rope, the employer will probably hang himself if given time .... so give him time to do just that. I am an employer, I own a company...I would never do this to an employee..this is downright cruel. good luck

  • SusieQ
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It depends on a lot of things. Is your husband disabled by his ulcerative colitis? Was there an accomodation made for him because of it? Is changing his shift causing him negative effects?

    These are the issues to be considered. Unfortunately your status means nothing. I am confined to a wheelchair and 100% disabled but, my husband has his shift changed from 1st to 3rd or to 2nd and back again quite often.

    The best way to handle this might be for your husband to have a talk with Human Resources and see if they would be willing to accomodate him based on his good service to the company.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Since this effects home, house, lively hood. I would spend $50 and go over the details and all with an attorney. That way you know the laws, rules, actions able to be taken. If it was him that was disabled it would be a clear cut case. But since it is for spouse, not sure of what the law states for this.

    Many times a simple letter from attorney to warn the employer of the actions and the likely outcome (lawsuit) can very quickly put any flames out.

    Source(s): Business Owner
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  • Lily
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yes, you could possibly be protected. The problem is smaller employers are often not held as accountable. In reality, if an employer wants to fire someone in 49 states they are basically "no fault" the employer can write you up for being late back from lunch, being disrespectful or an other minor offence and then fire you. Lawyers coach small business owners to write up the employee three or four times then fire them to protect the employer from such lawsuits.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You need to look it up on the website, go to this website and see if you can find some help. It well lead you to the American's with Disabilities Act and will tell you if you can do anything about your husbands boss. Most places will allow employees to help family with going to doctors appts. if they can't get there on their own. It may depend on how many employees are at that place of business.

  • 1 decade ago

    No you can't requiring people to work certain shifts is nto in violation of the ADA. the hours someone works is usually not an ADA protected right.

    your best bet may be the associated with a disabled individual clause if they switched his shift to get at him because he was raising their insurance cost with the two of you on their bills.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You're going to need to get some help from the OCR (Office of Civil Rights) and/or disability advocacy/rights organizations.

    But, NO--the schedule is clearly a reasonable accomodation--the employer has no right under the law to revoke it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I do not believe that this is covered by the ADA. Your disability doesn't count because you are not employed by this company. ADA only applies to employees, not family members.

    ADA requires employers to make reasonable accomadations. It does not reuire the employer to do everything possible for the employee.

    Is the boss asking your husband to do something that he is not asking other people to do? Is he singling out your husband? If so, then you may have a harassment case.

    It stinks that his boss want to change his hours without notice but its not illegal.

  • Pamela
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I know many people are leaving the State of New Jersey because they can't afford the property taxes, which were driven up by having to cater to disabled children, or else be sued by out-of-control trial lawyers.

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