Disabilities, the ADA and employment

Texas residents with disabilities may have legal recourse if they suspect that they are victims of employment discrimination. Under the federal American with Disabilities Act of 1990, it is illegal to engage in employment discrimination against individuals with qualified disabilities.

The entities that are required to comply with the law include employment agencies, labor-management committees, local and state governments, private employers and labor organizations. The employment practices covered by the ADA include all employment-related activities, such as promotions, job assignments, recruitment, benefits, firing, compensation, hiring and training. The ADA also prohibits employers from seeking reprisals against the employees who assert their rights under the ADA.

The regulations of the ADA are enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which works to ensure compliance among employers that have at least 15 employees. For local and state government programs with any number of employees, enforcement of ADA regulations is overseen by the United States Department of Justice.

Individuals are considered to have a disability, as it pertains to the ADA, if they have a mental or physical impairment that significantly restricts them from participating in a major life activity. Those who have had a disability in the past or who are believed to have a disability by an employer, whether or not the disability actually exists, are also covered by the ADA.

The disability has to be a significant impairment in order to be under the protection of the ADA. Such an impairment may include those that considerably restrict an individual's ability to hear, see, walk or perform manual tasks.

A lawyer who practices employment law may help a client seek financial damages against an employer that discriminated against them due to their disability. For example, an ADA lawsuit could be filed against an employer that failed to provide reasonable accommodations.

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