New Jersey football fans may be interested to learn that, on Sept. 26, Erin Henderson, a former linebacker for the Jets, filed a lawsuit against the team after he was placed on the non-football injury list for the previous season. The former linebacker reportedly has bipolar disorder.
Henderson's agent stated that the former linebacker did not know the reason why he was placed on the non-football injury list until an NFL Players Association grievance hearing took place in June. During the hearing, the Jets reportedly stated that Henderson was "not fit" to play. The agent said that Henderson was struggling with the side effects of a medication he was prescribed by a team doctor. The treatment left him sleepy and unable to get to meetings on time. He was even allegedly accused of being "still drunk" by teammates and coaches.
According to the lawsuit, Henderson believed that he was placed onto the non-football injury list without merit. As such, he was suing on the grounds of disability discrimination and wrongful termination. He was seeking $3.3 million in compensatory damages, which includes the salary he lost for the 2016 season and what he was set to make for the 2017 season.
If an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason, that employee may be able to seek compensation for the wages he or she lost in addition to certain otherdamages. For example, if a person was terminated due to a disability, the company could have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. An employment law attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the company on the grounds of unlawful discrimination, even if the employee was an at-will employee.
Source: NBC Sports, "Erin Henderson suing Jets for wrongful termination, disability discrimination", Josh Alper, Sept. 26, 2017