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Injured worker files an Americans with Disabilities Act claim

Employees who are handicapped should not be treated unfairly by their employers due to their disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act is in place to protect workers from unfair treatment and to prevent employers from firing workers who are injured or disabled. This law also states that employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation for their injured and disabled workers. Texas employers who violate this law may find themselves in a court room settling the matter.

One employee, who previously was working for Jet Specialty, claims that his employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that he was initially discriminated against due to his age. The plaintiff worked as a warehouseman and claims that, during his employment, he was ridiculed and had been the victim of snide remarks due to his age. According to his complaint, he claims that, on one occasion, he had been taking chemical tanks out of a tractor/trailer when he injured his lower back. Although he was in significant pain, the man stated that he finished his shift after telling his manager what had occurred.

The next day, the plaintiff could not make it to work because of the pain from the injury, and he then began frequenting a chiropractic clinic for treatment. He claims that on the day he returned to work, his manager appeared agitated. Sometime later, when he reported for his shift, he was fired. In his complaint, he says that he was told that his position was being eliminated, but he then discovered that his position was filled the next day.

The plaintiff asserts that the reason why he lost his job was because of his injury and that his employer had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also believes that his age was another factor in his termination. He is seeking a reasonable accommodation -- an order that disallows the company to discriminate against him in the future -- and damages that include lost wages and associated court costs. Texas employees who believes that they have been discriminated against because of their disability can choose to file a claim against their employer. Based on the individual circumstances of the case, the worker may receive damages, back pay and be reinstated if applicable.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Man claims job loss due to physical impairment", Kelly Holleran, July 22, 2014

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Warren & Siurek, L.L.P.
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