Fired for Having Cancer? 4 Reasons to Sue for Wrongful Termination
Have you been fired for having cancer? Did your employer terminate you because you needed time off to get treatment or any other reason related to your medical condition? Do you want to know about the wrongful termination?
Cancer is considered a disability and is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you’ve been fired for having cancer, you can pursue damages through a lawsuit. If you’re not sure you want to pursue legal action, here are 4 points to consider.
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1. Your Bills Will Pile Up Fast
Medical bills tend to be expensive and when you’re being treated for cancer, you may not have everything covered by insurance. If you don’t have insurance, your medical bills will be even higher. Consider the fact that you’ve possibly just lost your source of income, and your household bills will begin to pile up alongside your medical bills.
Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit is the best way to cover your bills while you’re out of work. If you win your case, you’ll be entitled to damages, especially since getting fired can actually increase your medical bills.
“Damages can increase tenfold or more when an employer fires you and thus takes your health insurance away,” says Eric A. Panitz of Wrongful Termination Law Group in Los Angeles.
If getting fired has caused you to lose your health insurance, you need to speak with an attorney right away. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to recover the compensation you need.
Since you won’t get paid right away, time is of the essence. It will take a bit of time for you to receive your settlement money, and in the meantime, you may need to borrow money to pay your bills. That’s okay if you have no other choice, but if you have savings to fall back on, you might be able to avoid taking out a loan if you get your lawsuit started immediately.
2. Your Lawsuit Could Help Other Employees
While not the first reason to file a lawsuit, consider the impact your case can have on other employees, who might also be discriminated against in the workplace for having a protected medical condition or disability. Employees are frequently terminated for illegal reasons, and you may be the first person to bring your employer to court.
Once your employer is put on notice from a court of law that they need to change their practices, they’ll have to make changes or risk being sued again. Once an employer is sued for wrongful termination, it’s less likely that the same thing will happen again, as the penalties for a second violation would likely be bigger.
Most businesses will want to avoid future lawsuits and will comply with the court’s order to follow fair employment practices. This means your lawsuit could be the catalyst for much-needed change in the workplace and might prevent other employees from experiencing the same type of wrongful termination.
3. Unpaid Bills Are A Major Source Of Stress
When your bills are piling up, you’re going to get a little anxious about what will happen when they don’t get paid. For instance, electricity and internet might get shut off, and car insurance might get canceled. This kind of stress is damaging to your mind and body and can damage your cardiovascular system.
Being able to pay your medical and household bills will keep you from worrying about some pretty scary consequences. When you have a lawsuit in the works, and your attorney thinks you’ll win, you won’t feel so much stress.
4. You Might Not Need to Pay Lawyers’ Fees Up Front
If you’re hesitant to file a wrongful termination lawsuit because you think it will cost too much money upfront, you’ll be happy to know that many attorneys will take your case on contingency, which means you won’t pay until you win. In this case, the attorney’s fees are taken directly out of the settlement before you receive your money. It’s truly effortless on your part.
When you speak with a wrongful termination attorney, be sure to inquire about how they expect their fees to be paid. If you don’t have money up front, make sure you find an attorney who will take your case on contingency.
Wrongful Termination: Remember that You Have Rights
As a cancer patient, you have employment rights, and your employer is legally required to accommodate you under the ADA. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job due to your cancer diagnosis, talk to a lawyer right away to see if you have a case.