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Can I Get Fired If I Have Sleep Apnea?

So, you’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, eh? After navigating through the sleep treatment process and selecting your perfect gear, you may be left with a few questions related to your job. Namely, the big scary one: Can I get fired if I have sleep apnea? 

Read on for the full scoop of what your sleep apnea diagnosis means for your career.

As of a 2008 amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the definition of a person with a disability was changed to include those with a “disability corrected by an assistive device like a CPAP machine”. The answer then is, NO, an employer cannot refuse to hire people with sleep apnea. 

Due to the above amendment to the ADA, your employer must make reasonable accommodations for your disability, if applicable. And after 2008, you cannot be fired for simply having sleep apnea. 

However, and this is very important: you can be fired if you are not currently and effectively being treated for your sleep apnea! Meaning, the diagnosis itself can not get you fired, but not treating your sleep apnea may. Reach out to our clinical team to get started on your sleep treatment if you haven’t yet. 

While certain job fields may require disclosure, such as truckers, physical labor, etc., you are generally under no obligation to share your health history with a potential employer. However, you may find that beginning your relationship with such candor may prove beneficial for all parties. You are sharing valuable information (not excuses!) that will provide context in the future and help to keep healthy, open communication flowing.

According to a 2019 study, results show that individuals with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were more likely to have experienced multiple involuntary job losses. Compared to participants who did not have sleep apnea, those with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to have a history of multiple job layoffs or firings.

The biggest takeaway here is that sleep apnea is not a death sentence for your career—no matter what the career! The best way to eliminate any job security risks is to be properly and effectively treating your sleep apnea. This means not only wearing your mask every night, but regularly cleaning your supplies, and replacing them according to your replacement schedule.

You can also double-down with Remote Therapy Monitoring with our board certified sleep specialists. We’ll give you up-to-date data insights and recommendations to improve your sleep health.

Our clinical team is always available to answer your questions, help you find the right gear, or just listen to you vent! You can call us at (866) 716-0663, email us at or even Live Chat with us in the lower right corner!

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