When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law over a quarter-century ago, it represented a sea change for the rights of individuals with disabilities and their access to housing, transportation, places of business, and employment opportunities.
Like other laws that prohibit discrimination in employment against people on the basis of race, gender, national origin, or religion, the ADA and parallel state laws such as the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act protect those with disabilities from adverse decisions and actions in hiring, firing, and the terms and conditions of employment. Unlike those other laws, however, the ADA and its cousins also impose affirmative obligations on employers to make reasonable accommodations for a person’s disability if they are otherwise able to perform the function of the job.
Texans With Disabilities Can Turn to Sandoval James to Protect and Enforce Their Rights
Nevertheless, either with prejudicial intent or because of ignorance of the law, companies often fail to meet their legal obligations and engage in prohibited discrimination against Texans with disabilities. It is isn’t right when that happens, it isn’t fair, and it isn’t legal.
If you have been denied a job opportunity or suffered adverse employment actions because of your disability, or if your employer has failed to accommodate your condition as required by law, we can help. The Austin employment discrimination attorneys of Sandoval James represent Texans whose lives and careers have been negatively impacted by prohibited discrimination in employment. We fight on their behalf to keep the doors of opportunity open and hold employers accountable for their illegal decisions or acts. Whether through obtaining compensation, a desired position, or a requested and required accommodation, we are champions for hard-working Texans living with all types of disabilities.
Whom the Law Protects and What the Law Requires
The law considers an individual to be “disabled,” and thus entitled to the protections of the ADA and equivalent laws, if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, walking, hearing, breathing, learning, seeing, speaking, or performing manual tasks. A 2008 amendment to the ADA significantly expanded the scope of disabilities that the law covers.
As with other prohibitions against discrimination, a person’s disability cannot be the basis of any adverse hiring or employment decisions, including:
- Recruitment practices.
- Pre-employment inquiries.
- Hiring practices.
- Differing terms and conditions of employment.
- Discrimination in job assignments, promotion, and advancement.
- Discrimination in levels of compensation and availability of benefits.
- Discipline and discharge based in whole or in part on prohibited reasons.
- Retaliation for requesting a reasonable accommodation or reporting incidents of discrimination.
Additionally, employers must make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled individuals to remove the obstacles – physical or otherwise – that stand in the way of doing their jobs. What accommodations will be considered “reasonable” and thus required by law will depend on the individual circumstances of the employee, employer, or position at issue. But if making the accommodation won’t cause the employer undue hardship, they likely need to provide it to comply with the law.
If You Suffered Employment Discrimination Because of a Disability, Call Sandoval James Today for Your Free Consultation
If your current employer has treated you unjustly or you were denied a job opportunity because of your disability, you have rights and remedies under the law. Asserting those rights and obtaining justice and compensation for you is what we do at Sandoval James. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and explore how we can help you.
To arrange for your free initial consultation with one of our Austin employment discrimination lawyers, call us today at 512-382-7707 or contact us online.