Dallas Employment Attorney Dan A. Atkerson Will Fight For You
Federal law specifically prohibits discrimination against “qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.” Whether a disability is physical or mental, applicants and employees with disabilities still have basic rights under the law. Dallas employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson fights to protect the rights of victims of disability discrimination, and he pursues damages from employers who violate the law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, defining a person with a disability as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, who has a record of such impairment, or who is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
Employees discriminated against because they have a known association or relationship with an individual with a disability are also protected under the ADA. The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. It also applies to employment agencies, labor organizations and both state and local governments.
Disabilities covered by ADA
Some of the many disabilities frequently involved in employment discrimination claims involve:
- Blindness or vision impairment
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Confinement to a wheelchair
- Diabetes or chronic diseases
- Graves Disease
- Learning disability
- Limited mobility
- Certain kinds of mental illness
- Restrictions on lifting
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sleep apnea
The law prohibits employers for discriminating against employees with these disabilities. Discrimination may include anything from verbal harassment to failure to promote to wrongful termination.
Employer’s Duty of Reasonable Accommodation
The ADA requires an employer to make reasonable accommodation for a disabled worker in three ways:
- Provide equal opportunity in the application process (such as allowing providing assistance to the applicant for completing the application or providing alternatives, such as Braille)
- Enable the qualified disabled individual to perform the essential functions of the job (such as changing work schedules or modifying duties)
- Enable the disabled employee to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment (such as removing obstructions, adding a wheelchair ramp or reserving handicapped parking)
These are just a few examples, although reasonable accommodations are by no means limited just to this list. The employee should initiate the request for reasonable accommodation and engage the employer in an interactive process to obtain the requested accommodation that should be made unless the employer shows undue hardship to the employer’s business.
You may be able to recover damages for lost wages and benefits as well as compensatory damages for physical pain and suffering and mental anguish for the employer’s violations of the ADA. Our Dallas employment lawyer is an advocate for the rights of the disabled and is not afraid to fight large companies to protect the rights of his clients. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination because of a disability, contact Dallas employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson to see how we can help.