Pennsylvania Man Says He Was Fired from Job Due to his Medical Condition

A Pennsylvania man, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has filed a lawsuit against Akorn Inc. a multinational pharmaceutical company for allegedly firing him because of his medical condition. The Star-Ledger reports that Mark Stahmann, 57, filed a lawsuit against his employer alleging that he was fired merely four days after he notified the company that he had a “very serious medical condition.” He also told his employer that he would need some time off for medical testing and treatment, the complaint filed in Somerville Superior Court states.

Stahmann had worked for Akorn for more than 23 years, the lawsuit states, adding that he was a “highly regarded employee” with an impeccable personnel record. The complaint alleged that the true reason for Stahmann’s firing was his age, disability, perceived disability and his request for medical leave. His employer issued a statement saying that the real reason for Stahmann’s termination was not his illness, but “performance deficiencies.” Akorn has vowed to vigorously defend its position in this case.

What the Law States

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines disability discrimination as a situation where an employer or any other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because he or she has a disability.

The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability unless doing so would cause undue hardship or expense for the employer. The law goes an extra step and protects people from disability discrimination based on their relationship with a disabled person. For example it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because his or her spouse or child is disabled.

Proving Disability Discrimination

In order to prove disability or age discrimination, the plaintiff must be able to show that he or she was treated differently than others. Evidence in such cases could include testimony whether it is from the plaintiff or other witnesses. Evidence may also include documents such as policies, procedures, letters, memos, emails, etc. Anyone who has faced any type of discrimination on the job would be well advised to contact an experienced employment lawyer who will fight for their rights and ensure that they get justice and fair compensation for their significant losses.

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