Fort Worth disability discrimination lawyers represent clients in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas in disability discrimination claims. Under federal and Texas employment laws it is unlawful to treat an employee or applicant unfairly due to a disability. Disability discrimination claims also exist when a disabled employee requests a reasonable accommodation and is denied. Under federal law and possibly Texas law an employer may not discriminate on the basis of a family relationship with a disabled person. If you have a disability and your employer discriminated against you then you should contact a Fort Worth disability discrimination lawyer.
Disability discrimination in employment in Fort Worth, Texas
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Texas Labor Code prohibit employers from discriminating on a disability. This includes current disabilities, past disabilities and the employer’s perception that an employee or applicant is disabled. An employer may discriminate in hiring, promotion, termination, demotion, pay cuts, pay raises, work assignments and harassment. These acts are unlawful. If you suffer any you should contact Fort Worth disability discrimination lawyers right away.
What is a disability under federal and Texas law
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disabled person as:
a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment
Because there is a lot to unpack in this definition, take it one piece at a time. The definition of a disabled person includes (1) a person with a disability; (2) a person with a history of a disability; and (3) a person perceived to have a disability even if that person is not actually disabled. Therefore the question becomes what is a disability.
Next, the ADA definition is, “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities…”
Parse out the definition and find several parts: (1) physical or mental impairment; (2) substantially limits; (3) one or more major life activities. Each element must be met. Therefore, any employee who does not meet all three will not prevail on a claim.
First, there must be a physical or mental impairment. It must be an actual impairment to the body. Let’s jump to the end and come back to the middle. Third, it involves one or more major life activities. Under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the definition of a major life activity is broad. It includes walking, thinking, sleeping, eating, reading, talking, etc. As a result, defense lawyers often argue that the definition means everybody is disabled. Second, the impairment must substantially limit a major life activity. A minor limitation will not meet the definition. The clear and significant limitation must exist.
Reasonable accommodation and disability discrimination
These employment laws also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabilities to allow an employee or applicant meaningful access to the workplace like any other employee and to accommodate the employee’s performance of the essential functions of the job. There is a specific process an employer must follow to provide a reasonable accommodation. Failing to follow the process is itself a form of disability discrimination. Even if the employer does not fire or demote the employee.
Additionally, recall an employee may meet the definition of a disabled employee because the employee is perceived as disabled although not actually disabled. An employee perceived disabled but not actually disabled is not entitled under the ADA to a reasonable accommodation. Employment lawyers have brought these lawsuits to court without success.
Recovery in disability discrimination lawsuits in Fort Worth, Texas
Employers who discriminate are liable for lost wages, out of pocket losses, attorneys fees, mental anguish and other damages. Reinstatement is sometimes an option to cure a disability discrimination claim, especially when demotion or termination occurs. Often the employer, employee, or both do not prefer this option. Because the disabled employee did not fill the position, another employee often holds that job. Judges usually do not like to displace an innocent third party to reinstate the aggrieved employee. If your employer negatively affected your job or refused to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disability then you should contact Fort Worth disability discrimination attorneys right away.
Contact Fort Worth disability discrimination lawyers
Disability discrimination claims are highly technical employment discrimination claims. There are specific processes to initiate a claim against an employer. The legal definitions of a disability and reasonable accommodation are specific and technical. Statute of limitations for these lawsuits are short. If you fail to follow the correct process or accurately define a claim or lawsuit within the legal definitions you can lose your claim. If you believe your employer discriminated against you then contact a Fort Worth disability discrimination lawyer today.