Visitor Question

Should I be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Submitted By: Charles (USA)

I have a work related injury issue I would like your comments on…

I had a very moderate ankle sprain which I have doctors’ notes for. I know I had not been tardy 3 months prior to the tardy I was terminated for. However, the work I missed that was “excused” went AGAINST my attendance record even though I followed company policy in reporting to management MORE than 6 hours in advance prior for the shift to be covered.

My only mode of transportation was walking to work, which “normally” was 10 minutes exactly, but due to the type of injury, mobility was hindered some days. My employer would not allow me to rest my ankle at work (where I stood on my feet for 8 hour shifts by the way) and I was not able to obtain a doctor’s note from the ER doctor, because I was told it was against emergency room policy.

I guess my main question is whether I am protected from being fired for this injury in any way by law, as I feel it hindered me in keeping with work policies? I thought the Americans with Disabilities Act prevented companies from firing employees for injuries?

I had not contacted my H.R. department, because I really didn’t believe I worked for a corporation that would treat an exemplary employee this way. When I refer to tardies above, I mean anything one minute late, which I believe directly after my injury were unfair and not taken into consideration. I appreciate any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Charles,

The Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted to apply to those American who are legitimately disabled, and not for those Americans who have suffered ankle sprains. If you were truly injured you need to contact the Human Resources Department or any other Department in your company which addresses workers compensation issues.

Workers compensation rules will afford you access to doctors who can treat your injury. If the workers compensation doctor states you must miss work for a certain period of time, then your employer will be so notified.

That’s the good news. The bad news is unless you have a written contract of employment with your employer, or your employer has an appeals process for possible termination, your employment may be subject to termination.

The most important issue is your health. If you are injured and unable to work, and you believe continuing to work will only exacerbate your injuries, then you must stop working. If that is the case, regrettably it may be time to begin looking for a new job.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 4, 2012

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