At S.T. Legal Group, in Deerfield Illinois, lead attorney Diana Servos is deeply committed to protecting the rights of employees who face discrimination due to their medical condition. She is acutely aware that those dealing with serious medical conditions have enough to cope with without being treated unfairly at the workplace. If you are receiving unfair treatment because of a medical ailment in Chicago or its surrounding suburbs, contact S.T. Legal Group for highly skilled legal representation.
Because Diana’s goal is improving working conditions as a whole, she also provides legal counsel for employers who want to make their companies compliant with laws to protect employees with medical conditions. She assists enlightened business owners who realize that doing the right thing also protects their profit margin.
What S.T. Legal Group Can Do for Medical Condition Discrimination Victims
Once Diana determines that you have a viable case, she will take the necessary steps to remedy your situation by:
- Handling all communications and negotiations with opposing attorneys
- Thoroughly investigating the details of your case
- Gathering evidence (e.g. emails, texts, witness accounts) to support your claim
- Checking into any history of discrimination on the part of your employer
- Creating a strategy for litigation so well-crafted that it may result in an out of court settlement
Most importantly, she has the determination and legal know-how to fight for a positive outcome to your discrimination case that involves altered working conditions and receipt of the damages your deserve.
What is a medical condition and how does it differ from a disability?
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a serious health condition is an injury, impairment, physical or mental infirmity that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. A disability, on the other hand, is defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, talking, eating, working, or caring for oneself.
In order for a medical condition to be considered a disability, it must have a significant, long-term adverse effect on normal daily activities. In some cases, the categories overlap, but in many they do not. Generally speaking, a medical condition may not be immediately apparent to others, but may result in episodes of illness (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, Tourette Syndrome) or may require only temporary special accommodations (e.g. a broken ankle, pregnancy). Many medical conditions are covered as disabilities under federal, state, and local laws.
It should be noted that there are limitations to what the term “medical conditions” covers. For example, drug or alcohol addiction, sexual behavior disorders, and personality traits are not included under its umbrella.
What is medical condition discrimination?
Medical condition discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently because the individual is suffering from a physical or mental impairment, or is believed to be suffering from one. Acts of employment discrimination include:
- Failure to interview or hire
- Failure to promote or provide a deserved raise or bonus
- Wrongful termination
- Failure to provide reasonable accommodations, unless doing so would pose “undue hardship,” usually interpreted to mean unusual expense
- Failure to keep medical information private
You should be aware that having a medical condition does not mean you can’t be fired. It only means that you can’t be fired because of your medical condition.
Harassment Is a Form of Discrimination
The law also prohibits your employer, your fellow employees, or anyone else in your place of business from harassing you because of your medical condition. This means that if anyone is targeting you for spoken, written, visual, or physical abuse, it should not be tolerated.
You do not have to put up with offensive comments, messages, posted cartoons, inappropriate pointing or touching because of your pregnancy, fatigue, rash, limp, etc., or because of the special accommodations afforded you. If you are being subjected to such misconduct, you should lodge a formal complaint with a superior or with human resources.
If no action is taken to remedy the problem, you should contact S.T. Legal Group. You may well have a winnable lawsuit. Once you become our client, you can depend on Diana Servos to ferret out illegal discrimination, even if it is disguised as harmless fun.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations for Medical Conditions
Examples of reasonable accommodations for medical conditions include:
- Making existing facilities accessible by, for example, moving a piece of equipment
- Modifying work schedules, e.g. for employees who become easily fatigued because of their medical condition
- Acquiring or modifying equipment for an employee who has, for example, difficulty gripping or lifting
- Altering training materials, instructions, or policies when necessary
- Reassigning the affected employee to an available location to make her/his job easier
- Modifying a workstation, e.g. providing work tables that raise and lower
- Providing a small, private area (not a bathroom) for a nursing mother to express milk
- Providing more or longer breaks for employees who require them
Legal Protections for Employees with Medical Conditions
In Illinois, employees with medical conditions are legally protected against workplace discrimination by the following laws:
- The Family and Medical Leave Act which provides employees at companies with 50 or more employees, with job-protected, unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons — i.e. health crises
- The Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees of companies with 15 or more employees from discrimination on the job due to a physical or mental disability that interferes with their ability to perform everyday tasks.
- Illinois Law provides more protection than the ADA since it does not require that the affected employee have a substantial limitation of a major life activity, but only “a determinable” mental or physical condition.
Damages Diana Servos Will Fight to Win for You
Whether S.T. Legal Group is able to settle your case out of court or must proceed to litigation, Diana Servos may, depending on your particular circumstances, seek the following:
- Reinstatement of your position if you were wrongfully demoted or terminated
- Lost back pay or bonuses owed to you
- Out-of-pocket costs, such as those associated with a job search
- Medical expenses if your condition was worsened by discriminatory conduct
- Compensation for emotional harm suffered (e.g. mental anguish)
Contact Our Experienced Medical Condition Discrimination Attorney Now
If you have suffered the emotional, financial, and perhaps even physical pain of medical condition discrimination at your place of employment, S.T. Legal is well-prepared to fight for your right to fair treatment. Contact us today for a case evaluation.
S.T. Legal Group medical condition discrimination attorneys represent employers and employees in Deerfield, Lake, and Cook Counties and throughout the state of Illinois.