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Fear of potential violence by an impaired employee can be a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for termination.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and parallel state statutes, an employer cannot take an adverse action against an employee because of that person’s disability or perceived disability. However, an employer is justified in taking such action if the action is based upon a legitimate business reason, and if that reason is not simply a pretext for discrimination. A Tennessee district court has held that firing an employee because of fear of potential violence by that individual is a “legitimate non-discriminatory reason” for an employee’s termination, in spite of the fact that the employee had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

9th Circuit Gives Violent Behavior ADA Protection.

When do ADA protections for the mentally disabled trump the rights of other employees to a safe workplace? The 9th Circuit provides some guidance.
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