ADA in NY State
I have a previous employee (in 2007) who has a hernia and had it while he worked for me at as a driver at my plumbing suppy company. He had the hernia for the last 6-8 months of employment and was on light duty during that time. He requested 3 weeks off to get the hernia surgery but returned to work having spent the 3 weeks in FL and having not gotten the surgery. In May of 2008, with the downturn in the economy, I needed to lay off a driver. I laid him off. He collected unemployment. I called three times trying to get him to work for us again and he refused the opportunity to work for us. I called the unemployment they cancelled his benefits due to his unwillingness to work. He applied for disability at that time and was given the offer by the insurance company to pay for the operation but has chosen not to have the surgery to date.
He has now sued me for discrimination under ADA saying I discriminated against him because of the hernia.
I have the following questions:
Does the ADA prevent me from terminating someone for having a hernia whether or not that was my reason?
What is expected of an employer with 11 employees who has an employee that can not perform his job and his job is delivery where only one person is there.