Texas Disability Discrimination Attorneys
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on disability. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that the ADA forbids discrimination in “any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”
Title I of the ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others, and the employers must make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a qualified individual with a disability less favorably because of their disability.
Did your employer discriminate against you because of your disability? You have rights under the ADA and could be entitled to compensation.
The Texas disability discrimination lawyers at Leichter Law Firm PC can fight to help you get justice. Call (956) 205-0884 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free consultation.
Do I Need A Disability Discrimination Lawyer?
Disability discrimination victims may have several options, but many are confused about which path will be the most beneficial. Certain situations are more complicated than others, and ideal solutions may be harder to achieve.
If you plan on filing a lawsuit, you will first need to file a charge with the EEOC. You will undoubtedly want an attorney’s help if you hope to file a lawsuit.
A lawyer can be an invaluable asset in litigation, as an attorney can conduct an independent investigation of your discrimination. The lawyer can collect necessary evidence and develop your case. A lawsuit will typically result in negotiations with an insurance company, and an attorney will know the real value of your case in working toward a fair and full settlement. If the negotiations do not provide an adequate settlement, the lawyer can then file the lawsuit to try your case in court.
Why Choose Leichter Law Firm PC To Handle My Case?
Leichter Law Firm PC has successfully negotiated many confidential settlements to various kinds of discrimination cases. Our firm has decades of experience handling employment law cases and knows how to hold employers accountable.
Founder Louis Leichter has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence. David Langenfeld is Board Certified as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law, a distinction earned by fewer than 10 percent of attorneys are Board Certified in any area of law and fewer than 1 percent in Labor and Employment Law specifically.
Leichter Law Firm PC helps people with claims against current and former employers as well as groups of employees in class actions. We represent only employees in Texas, never employers.
Our firm knows that money is often a significant issue that prevents some people from contacting attorneys. Know that you have nothing to lost when you contact Leichter Law Firm PC. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you get a monetary award.
Types of Disability Discrimination Cases We Handle
A person is considered to have a disability when they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment. Leichter Law Firm PC has experience representing victims who have many different kinds of disabilities, including:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Blindness or vision impairment
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Diabetes or chronic diseases
- Crohn’s disease
- Graves’ disease
- Confinement to a wheelchair
- Sleep apnea
Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and the EEOC states that an employee should request a reasonable accommodation from the Disability Program Manager (DPM). If an employee makes a reasonable accommodation request to someone other than the DPM, such as her supervisor, office director, district director, or regional attorney, those supervisors or managers should forward the request to the DPM immediately and are required to do so within two business days.
When can an employer ask an applicant to “self-identify” as having a disability?
The ADA prohibits employers from asking about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability, but the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) affirmed that a pre-offer invitation to self-identify as an individual with a disability is permissible under the ADA. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the United States Department of Labor (DOL) developed a voluntary self-identification of disability forms that are used by most employers. The forms have two sections that address “Why are you being asked to complete this form?” and “How do I know if I have a disability?” A person is then asked to check a box signifying either, “Yes, I have a disability (or previously had a disability),” “No, I don’t have a disability,” or “I don’t wish to answer.”
What is “reasonable accommodation?”
Reasonable accommodations cover most things that enable an individual to apply for a job, perform a job, or have equal access to the workplace, and common kinds of accommodations include:
- Modifying work schedules or supervisory methods
- Granting breaks or providing leave
- Altering how or when job duties are performed
- Removing and/or substituting a marginal function
- Moving to different office space
- Providing telework beyond that provided by the collective bargaining agreement or the relevant MOU
- Making changes in workplace policies
- Providing assistive technology, including information technology and communications equipment or specially designed furniture
- Providing a reader or other staff assistant to enable employees to perform their job functions, where the accommodation cannot be provided by current staff, removing an architectural barrier, including reconfiguring workspaces, providing accessible parking, providing materials in alternative formats
- Providing a reassignment to another job
The EEOC defines a reasonable accommodation as “any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability.”
What is an “essential job function?”
To be protected by the ADA, a person with a disability must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions are the basic job duties that employees must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation, based on such factors as whether the reason the position exists is to perform that function, the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the function can be distributed, and the degree of expertise or skill required to perform the function.
A written job description prepared before advertising or interviewing for a job will be considered by EEOC as evidence of essential functions, and other kinds of evidence could include the actual work experience of present or past employees in the job, the time spent performing a function, the consequences of not requiring that an employee perform a function, and the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
Disability Discrimination Statistics
In a June 21, 2018 news release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 18.7 percent of persons with a disability were employed in 2017. The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was an increase from 17.9 percent in 2016.
The BLS reported that 32 percent of workers with a disability worked part-time in 2017, as opposed to 17 percent of those without a disability. The BLS stated more workers with a disability worked part-time for economic reasons than those without a disability, with such individuals working part-time “because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”
The Division of Labor Statistics for BLS reported in June 2018 that 29.6 percent of persons 65 years of age and over had a disability in 2017, as opposed to 11.8 percent of persons 16 years of age and over and 7.7 percent of men and women between 16 years of age and 64 years of age. Among persons with a disability, 79.4 percent were not in the labor force, 18.7 percent were employed, and 1.9 percent were unemployed.
EEOC charge receipts for Texas show there were 2,642 disability charges filed in the fiscal year 2017. This represented 29.9 percent of all state charges and 9.8 percent of national charges.
Contact a Texas Disability Discrimination Attorney Today
If an employer has discriminated against you because of your disability, make sure that you quickly retain legal counsel. Disability discrimination actions can be very complex, so it is in your best interest to work with an experienced lawyer.
Leichter Law Firm PC fights to protect the rights of all employees, including those with disabilities. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (956) 205-0884 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.