Can Someone Be Fired For Having A Learning Disability?

When talking about jobs and learning disabilities, there can be some jobs that can make a good option for people with learning disabilities like dyslexia and dyscalculia; at the same time, considering some might not be that great for the individual!

Signs of learning difficulty can create hitches in the workplace. But can an employer fire an employee for having a learning disability? 

While this question is common among many people, the need to address the same has become important. While IEP and 504 plans can help individuals pave their way through education, do these also protect these people from being fired, or are there any separate laws for the same?

In this post, we’ll dig deeper to find out more about this burning question! We’ll also educate you about supporting laws that can stand by you anytime in need. 

Learning Disability at a workplace- Challenges An Individual Might Face

Learning disabilities can lead to some challenges at the workplace.  Feelings of inadequacy might cause situations like: 

  • Employers’ lack of awareness and support
  • Promotion and advancement possibilities are tough to come by.
  • The chance of just receiving low-paying employment offers
  • At employment, there is a lack of assistive technology or adaptable equipment, as well as access to continuing education classes and reading materials.

Individuals with learning disabilities establish techniques to help them in the workplace. However, it is always a good idea to choose jobs that don’t make their compromise a problem!

People with learning difficulties understand that the best way to overcome their challenges is to focus on their strengths. To begin with, concentrating on the positives eliminates the concept of stigma from the discussion. Moreover, building and increasing strengths help people feel content and satisfied. Building character and identifying their qualities results in a sense of fulfillment, engagement, and significance.

Getting fired for having an LD – Laws that protect

It is possible to get hired even if you have a learning condition. Sometimes, the strengths of a special candidate may add value to the company.  Employers are refrained from discriminating against applicants and workers with learning difficulties by laws and regulations.

If you were fired because of a learning disability, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful termination against your employer

Laws that protect Learning disables

Be it in the workplace or in any other profession-related areas, individuals with LD are protected under the umbrella of multiple enforced laws. Accordingly, You may have legal rights against your previous employer if you were fired due to your condition. 

Here are some laws that can protect in such cases:

1. ADA Protections

Employers who terminate employees or refuse to recruit applicants because of a learning handicap may face substantial legal implications. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ban discrimination against people with difficulties, including learning disabilities in firms with more than 15 employees. 


  • The ADA also applies to employees of labor unions and employment agencies. 
  • Although you cannot be fired for having a learning impairment, you can be fired for submitting a false application.
  • This can also be the case for failing to execute job obligations as described in your job description or being a danger to yourself and others. 
  • If you believe you were unlawfully terminated, you can file a complaint with the ADA or your state attorney general’s office.


  • A person gets qualified for ADA if they have the required credentials, licenses, experience, and other qualifications for the position. 
  • You must also be able to fulfill the job’s fundamental functions, whether or not you have access to accommodations. 
  • An employer is not obligated to hire or keep an employee who is unable to perform the job’s essential functions. 

A job when the individual needs to load and unload trucks in a warehouse, for example, necessitates the ability to lift big boxes and operate a forklift. If an employee’s condition restricts them from performing certain critical work responsibilities, the employer can always suggest the individual to think of more suitable options.

2. FMLA Protections

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows qualified employees to take time from work to care for family members or for medical reasons, including serious health conditions. 

You have the right to take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period if you are disabled and unable to work if your disability qualifies as a significant health condition under the FMLA (which many will). 

FMLA leave is not remunerated. Employers, on the other hand, are required to continue the employee’s group health insurance while the person is on leave. After taking FMLA leave, the employee is eligible to be reinstated. As a result, if your employer dismissed you while you were on FMLA leave due to your disability, you may have a claim under the FMLA. 

FMLA only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees. To be eligible for FMLA, employees with disabilities must fulfill specific requirements.


  • Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months.
  • At least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months need to be served before availing of this protection.
  • Another requirement is that they work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Hiring an attorney

If you were dismissed due to your learning condition, you should immediately contact an expert employment lawyer. In a pre-trial procedure known as “discovery,” a lawyer might utilize a set of legal techniques to acquire information from your employer. They can also assist you in evaluating the facts and determining the best course of action. The Attorney can also ensure that you maintain your legal rights by submitting a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or an equivalent state agency, as well as filing a discrimination lawsuit, all within the required time restrictions.

Here is our Insight

With all the laws and protections provided by the government, the answer to whether or not an employee can be fired for having a learning disability is NO, employees cannot be fired for having a learning disability. This is because the simple reason government laws protect the rights of these individuals. However, there are a few requirements that need to be met for claiming the laws and protection plans. As you now have a better understanding of your disability rights. Terminating an employee due to the condition is unlawful. You cannot be fired for having a learning disability; you can claim legally for it.  Also,  you may be fairly

Leave a Comment