Disabled Texans who are trying find employment or already have a job have the right to expect to be treated fairly under the law. Unfortunately, disability discrimination still takes place in various ways. In many situations, people are unsure of their options or have trouble recognizing if they have even been victimized in the first place. If there is suspicion or overt evidence that a person has been subjected to disability discrimination, it is imperative to understand the parameters of what employers can and cannot do and how to address it through the legal system.
Understanding the basics of disability discrimination
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Texas law requires that disabled employees be given the same opportunities as those who are not disabled when seeking employment or are already on the job. For a person to be considered disabled and protected by these laws, he or she must have a mental or physical disability that causes substantial limitations in major life activities; has a record of being disabled; and is regarded as being disabled.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodation for disabled workers. That can include a restroom that is accessible; adjusting the work schedule as needed; and giving the worker equipment to assist them in completing their duties. There is a limit to what employers are required to do based on how complicated it might be and if the cost is exorbitant. If it damages the business, then it might not be required.
Employers cannot ask a prospective employee if he or she has a disability, but the employer can ask if the person can perform certain tasks as part of the job. Medical examinations can impact whether a job is offered or not, but only if it applies to every worker and is contingent on business needs. Workers cannot be harassed due to their disability.
Recognizing disability discrimination and understanding the available options
Workplace discrimination against disabled people happens far too frequently. Some employers might use flimsy excuses to try and avoid hiring a disabled candidate no matter how qualified and credentialed they are because they believe it will prove costly or an inconvenience. This is not a viable justification to refuse to hire a person, to make the job so uncomfortable that they quit or to fire them without cause. People who have faced this form of employment law violation should know how to gather evidence, document what happened and take the necessary steps to pursue a claim. Having comprehensive help from the start can be crucial with a successful filing.