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August 28, 2014 • joedolson

This was shown by a recent appellate decision involving an employee with Asperger’s syndrome who worked for the New York Fire Department. (Krasner v. City of New York (2nd Cir. Aug. 28, 2014)). The employee was fired and he claimed the termination was discriminatory. However, the employer was able to demonstrate that, in fact, its decision was the result of serious misconduct including insubordination, foul language, and threats of serious harm to his coworkers. The Court found that even if the conduct was in part the result of the employee’s disability, under these specific facts the employer could not reasonably be expected to accommodate the inappropriate conduct and the conduct formed a legitimate, non-discriminatory explanation for the termination.

It is important how the employer won its case. The employer showed on a well-documented personnel file. Detailed and fair documentation was the proof to demonstrate that the employment decision was based on the employee’s conduct, not his disability. Training of managers and supervisors is needed so not to be involved in discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation issues and litigation.

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