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Kidney condition leads to possible disability discrimination

A man is suing his former employer after being terminated for what he believes were illegal reasons. The man says that his employer discriminated against him based on his disability even though he was still able to complete his job duties.

The man, suffering from almost completely depleted kidney function, sought out a medical treatment that would allow him to keep working to support his three children. The self-cleansing treatment was devised to enable him to work 40 hours each week.

The type of treatment, called self-dialysis, still requires significant supervision from doctors but does allow patients to do the bulk of the treatment on their own. Self-dialysis was approved in the late 1970s and has grown more popular since specially designed machines were introduced into the market in the early 2000s.

The treatment was only a holdover measure while the man waited for a transplant. When he told his boss that he had gotten onto the list for a transplant, he was initially congratulated, but was fired three days later. His boss said that the company was downsizing, but did not consider him for any other positions within the company. The company did report three other layoffs due to downsizing that year, but those individuals were let go four months earlier than this man.

Making matters worse, the man also lost his place on the transplant list after his insurance through his employer was discontinued. He was able to get insurance through his wife's job, but has to start over with a different kidney transplant provider and has not been approved for a transplant again.

Disability discrimination can take many forms and employers often go to great lengths to cover up the real reason that the employee has been fired or had their hours or work opportunities reduced. However, a company cannot un-do discrimination simply by stating that the motivation was different, and substantial evidence to suggest that disability discrimination was at play can help a wrongfully terminated employee obtain justice.

Source: Fox News, "Lawsuit claims man lost his job due to medical condition" Sept. 26, 2012

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