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Medical Discrimination Lawyer Columbus, Ohio

Ohio and federal laws make it illegal for employers to discriminate against, fire or refuse to hire employees just because of a worker’s medical condition. At The Friedmann Firm, our Columbus medical discrimination lawyers enforce these laws on behalf of employees.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA helps people with disabilities find and retain jobs in two basic ways. First, the ADA and its amendments require employers to consider making reasonable accommodations for employees who request them. As lawyers who handle medical discrimination cases in Ohio, we often find ourselves involved in disputes over the definition of what is “reasonable” with regard to a reasonable accommodation.

A reasonable accommodation for a disability allows an employee to perform the essential functions of the position even if he or she has a disability.  Changes to the work environment, flexible working hours and even telecommuting are examples of a reasonable accommodation.  Generally, an employer must grant a request for a reasonable accommodation unless it imposes an “undue burden” on the employer.

The ADA also prevents employers from engaging in discriminatory practices such as treating people as though they have a disability.  These claims are called perceived disability claims.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

Eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

The FMLA applies to all:

  • public agencies, including local, State, and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and
  • private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year – including joint employers and successors of covered employers.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

As stated on an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission webpage, “Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.” Congress specifically outlawed pregnancy discrimination in 1978 by passing the PDA, making it illegal to treat expectant and recent mothers differently from other workers in regards to assignments, pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Under the PDA, employers cannot refuse to interview, rescind job offers to, reassign, demote, reduce hours for, or fire women just because they become pregnant or are caring for newborns. At the same time, childbirth and its complications can justify workers’ requests for accommodations and FMLA leave.

If you have experienced medical discrimination while working or searching for a job in Ohio, consider calling the Columbus offices of The Friedmann Firm at (614) 610-9755. Our employee rights attorneys offer free, confidential consultations, and they also take appointments online.