Can I Be Fired For Having ADHD?

Employment Rights For Employees With ADHD In California


Anyone who has to live with ADHD knows how hard it is to keep focused. This is a more pressing concern when you have a job, sometimes interfering with your performance. This post will discuss how employees with ADHD get accommodations and their employment rights in California.


If you feel like you have been fired, retaliated against, or refused fair accommodations, you should contact a Labor Lawyer in California to file claims.


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In California, any applicant, worker, or employee fired, demoted, suspended, or is refused hiring because of their protected characteristics have grounds to file employment claims.

Having these protected characteristics doesn't give you protection from being fired for legal or reasonable causes. That said, your boss cannot fire you solely because of these protected characteristics. For example, an employer is within their right to fire a poorly-performing employee regardless of their protected characteristics. However, the termination becomes illegal when the employee is fired or isn't hired solely because of their age, race, gender, disability, etc.

You may be legally disabled if your ADHD symptoms make it difficult for you to work. A California Employment Lawyer discusses your workplace rights, the laws that protect you, and what concessions may be required to protect you and help you succeed.


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Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a Disability?


There are a few caveats when it comes to getting reasonable accommodations for ADHD.

A diagnosis of ADHD does not automatically qualify you for disability payments and other benefits. For example, you are probably not disabled in the legal sense if your ADHD symptoms are effectively controlled or manageable. However, if you are unable to accomplish your work due to distractibility, poor time management, or other symptoms, you may be considered legally incapacitated.

A physical or mental condition that considerably inhibits an essential life activity—in this case, work—is referred to as "disability" in legal terms.

What Are Your Legal Protections For Having ADHD?


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides basic protection for adults with disabilities. This federal legislation prohibits employers with more than 15 employees from discriminating against disabled workers and compels them to make reasonable accommodations.


Some people with ADHD may be affected by these provisions. Again, the important caveat is that your ADHD has to be:

  1. Unmanageable on your own or with proper medications

  2. It hampers your ability to do key life activities (i.e., moving, communicating, etc.)

Not every case is the same. If you want to know if your ADHD warrants disability protections and reasonable accommodations, contact a California Employment Law Attorney to review your claim. If your lawyer discovers that you are protected under California Law, you might have grounds to sue or report your employer for illegal actions.

How Is ADHD Determined As A Disability?


A formal diagnosis of ADHD from a physician or psychologist is insufficient. Your ADHD symptoms must be severe enough to be considered disabling. Your psychologist will be able to tell if your ADHD qualifies as a disability (as defined by California Employment Laws)


If you satisfy these criteria, the ADA requires you and your employer to discuss the following:

  1. How your ADHD affects your ability to do your job.

  2. Explore making reasonable accommodations to help you do your job.

If you do qualify for worker protections as a disabled employee in California and your boss retaliates in some way, you'll have enough grounds for an employment claim. When this happens, contact a California Labor Lawyer to help you build your case.

What Are Reasonable Accommodations?


Disabled employees have the right to request reasonable accommodations in California. This means that your employer should provide adjustments in the workspace or office policy to make it easier for you to come to work and do your job.

If your ADHD qualifies as a disability under California Labor Law, then you can request reasonable accommodations from your boss.

However, you should take note of the word "reasonable." While it is within your right to have adjustments made for you, any request that causes due hardship for the employer isn't considered a fair request. That said, your reasonable accommodations should be things that aren't prohibitively expensive or burdensome to the company.


They can, however, provide an alternative (i.e., cheaper options for the accommodations you request.


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What If I Am Discriminated Against Because Of My ADHD?


In California Employment Law, you cannot be refused work, retaliated against, or fired because of your protected characteristics. So if your manager begins to unjustifiably criticize and punish you, it is considered an act of retaliation. If you were fired because of your ADHD, then that is grounds for Wrongful Termination in California.

Find A California Labor Law Attorney Near Me


No win, no fees! Don't let lawyer fees hold you back from fighting for your rights in California.


Gency.org can help you find a Contingency Lawyer for your Employment Claims in California. Complete our submission form for a free case review.

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