It is illegal for most Houston employers to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of their disabilities. When workers are disabled or become disabled, their employers must offer reasonable accommodations to them that allow them to do their jobs unless it would be unreasonably cost prohibitive. In November 2017, American Airlines and Envoy Air settled a lawsuit that was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of hundreds of disabled workers for disability discrimination. The settlement consisted of nearly $10 million in stock.
According to the EEOC, the airlines failed to offer reasonable accommodations to its workers who became disabled and illegally required the workers to have no restrictions before they were allowed to come back to work.
The airlines reportedly failed to make a determination about whether or not there were reasonable accommodations that could allow the workers to return to work. In addition to the $9.8 million in stock, the companies also are enjoined from discrimination or retaliation for two years and must adopt and implement policies that require reasonable accommodations for disabled workers.
Workers who are disabled are protected from workplace discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. While employers are not required to provide every accommodation that is requested by employees, they must offer accommodations that are reasonable and that are not unduly burdensome. Workers who believe that their employers have unlawfully discriminated against them because of their disabilities might benefit by consulting with experienced employment law attorneys who may be able to negotiate directly with the employers in order to obtain reasonable accommodations. If the employers refuse, the attorneys may then help their clients with filing disability discrimination charges with the EEOC or lawsuits against the companies with the federal courts that have jurisdiction to hear the matters.