Texas Labor Code, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have laws stating how employers must treat individuals with disabilities. When companies break these laws, they rob victims of employment opportunities and rightful promotions, making them suffer long-lasting punitive and compensatory damages. These laws require employers to give certain eligible workers medical leave, reasonable accommodations to allow disabled employees to do their work, and other benefits depending on the situation. They also prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee based on a disability or retaliating against an employee for requesting reasonable accommodations or time off using the FMLA. Unfortunately, many companies throughout Texas disregard these laws or unintentionally have policies that discriminate against the disabled, which is why you should consult a qualified Austin disability discrimination attorney if you’ve been discriminated against because of a disability.
Types of Disability Discrimination in the Texas Workplace
Disability discrimination in the workplace has been an unspoken issue for years. If an employer or company hires, fires, promotes, demotes, decides compensation, or otherwise treats an individual differently than other employees based on a disability, it may be guilty of discrimination.
It’s illegal for employers to ask about the status of an individual’s disability on a job application. An employer can ask you to demonstrate your ability to do the job and if you’re able to reasonably perform the duties expected of the position. However, employers can’t ask you up front if you’re disabled and use that information to deny you the job.
Disability discrimination can also include disability discrimination harassment, such as inappropriate or offensive language, ridicule or mockery, and other harassment circumstances. If disability discrimination is occurring within a workplace and the employer or company does nothing to reasonably prevent or stop it, you should speak with an Austin employment lawyer as soon as possible because the law can hold the enterprise responsible for damages.
About the FMLA and ADA
The FMLA entitles covered employees to take up to twelve weeks per year of job-protected leave for certain reasons with no breaks in health insurance coverage or other adverse results. Legislators put the FMLA into place to protect employees from adverse consequences for those who need family-related or medical leaves that are outside of a worker’s control.
“Covered employees” refers to those who have worked for an employer for at least 12 months (with at least 1,250 hours of work) prior to FMLA leave and who work at a location that employs at least 50 people within a 75-mile radius. The FMLA covers private employers with at least 50 employees and all state and local government employers regardless of the number of workers.
The ADA makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a qualified, disabled individual. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the ADA, as do state civil rights enforcement agencies working with the Commission.
For ADA laws to protect you, you must have a record of a substantial impairment versus a minor one. Substantial impairment includes a condition that significantly limits a major life activity, such as walking, speaking, hearing, or seeing. You must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without special accommodation (within reason).
Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers | Disability Discrimination Lawyers in Austin, TX
Under FMLA and ADA, employer practices such as pay, benefits, leave, and other employment-related activities can’t be subject to discrimination based on an individual’s disability. If you’re facing adverse employment action based on your disability or history of disability, you may have a claim against your employer.
The national and Texas state laws surrounding disability discrimination are complex and should be handled by knowledgeable employment lawyers. If you need to speak with a skilled Austin disability discrimination attorney, contact Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers for a case evaluation. You should never have to accept discrimination based on your disability. Call 512-474-7677 to speak with a lawyer today.