For decades, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has provided some basic protections for people experiencing a variety of mental and physical disabilities. In 2008, major amendments were made to the law to broaden protections. These changes were made to protect people in Texas and other states who had been previously excluded from the ADA due to narrow standards. It also strengthens protections for a subset of people that fell under the "regarded as" clause of the law.
A Houston-based multinational energy company has been accused of discriminating against one of its former workers in a complaint filed on June 24 in the Harris County District Court. The 66-year-old Brazoria County resident alleges in his litigation that the Phillips 66 Company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by terminating his employment after he took leave under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Some people in the Houston area who face mental health crises might wonder whether they should share any information about it with an employer. One man who did so was a professor at the University of North Carolina, and his department head had a degree in counseling. In that situation, his supervisor was supportive, but this is not always the case.
Federal law prohibits employers in Texas and around the country from discriminating against workers based on disability, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency tasked with holding companies responsible when this law is violated. A case dealing with these issues involved a woman employed as a server at a Florida restaurant who was fired in 2016 after suffering a series of seizures while on the job.
People with disabilities continue to struggle with discrimination in Houston and across the country. Despite the protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, companies continue to engage in policies related to hiring, promotion, and workplace practices that put workers with disabilities at an unfair disadvantage or exclude them altogether. In one case, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas has agreed to pay $75,000 in order to settle a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Front-door greeters working at Walmart stores in Texas will soon need to meet new job requirements established by the popular retailer. The company reportedly intends to remove about 1,000 greeter positions across America. As a result, many greeters with disabilities may lose their jobs. The reason this is happening is because the retailer is replacing its well-known greeter position with a newly created "customer host" position, which has additional physical job requirements.
Roughly 15 percent of the world's population has a disability. According to the American Health Association, approximately 75 percent of employees throughout the country have a mental health issue. However, some Texas workers may choose not to disclose their illnesses because they fear negative consequences for doing so. The downside to not disclosing a mental illness could be the impact it has on an individual's overall health.
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.
People in Texas and throughout the country who have disabilities generally need extra help to live and work. However, disclosing their disabilities may make it harder to find a job. The Americans With Disabilities Act is designed to help such individuals remain competitive in the job market. This doesn't mean that employers necessarily understand or comply with it. Those who have mental conditions also tend to feel as if companies only take steps to help those with physical disabilities.
Walmart discriminated against a job applicant by assuming her disability would prevent her from working, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. The complaint against Wal-mart Stores Texas, LLC says that the female applicant is a congenital amputee who was turned down for a job at Walmart based on an assumption that she could not perform job duties, even though she was working at another retailer at the time.