In Texas, employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination in employment under federal and Texas anti-discrimination laws. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for their disabilities so that they can remain on the job. If you are disabled and believe you were fired because of it, you may have a claim for compensation against your employer for illegal discrimination.
Laws That Protect the Disabled From Discrimination
Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination in all aspects of their job, such as hiring, job duties, pay, and termination. It also requires employers to reasonably accommodate an applicant’s or employee’s disability. This can include providing a person with assistance or making modifications to his work space so that he can perform his job. Workers have similar protections under the Texas Labor Code, which is mirrored after the ADA. Companies with 15 or more employees are covered under both of these laws.
What Is Considered a Disability?
Under the ADA and Texas Labor Code, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a person’s daily life activities such as walking, breathing, seeing, speaking, hearing, and performing manual duties. They also include a person’s immune, digestive, respiratory and other bodily functions.
Individuals are not only protected if they have a current disability, but also if they have a record or history of disability. It is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone who he incorrectly perceives as being disabled.
How Employers Discriminate Against Disabled Employees When Firing Them
In many cases, an employer’s discrimination will begin before an individual suffering with a disability is discharged. Here are some common circumstances that will indicate that your firing was in violation of the ADA and Texas law:
● You were fired soon after you disclosed your disability or asked your employer for a reasonable accommodation.
● Prior to your discharge, your supervisor made negative comments about your disability or ability to perform your job because of it.
● Your employer refused your request for a reasonable accommodation of your disability and later fired you.
● You were treated differently by your supervisor than other co-workers who were not disabled before your discharge.
● Your boss refused to give you time off for your disability, and you were fired or felt forced to quit to take care of your health.
● Your termination was based on your supervisor’s prejudices or misconceptions about your disability.
What Should You Do If You Were Fired Because of Your Disability?
If you believe you were discharged due to your disability, you need the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney to evaluate your claim and fight to prove your right to compensation from your employer. Start an online chat or call our office to schedule a free consultation with attorney Walt Taylor to learn how he can help you.