Fighting for Fairness: Your Top Texas Lawyer for Disability Discrimination Cases

Discrimination in the workplace due to disability is unlawful and fighting back starts with understanding your rights. A lawyer for disability discrimination plays a pivotal role, from evidence gathering to courtroom advocacy. We’ll detail how legal expertise can navigate you through this challenging process, allowing you to stand up for justice confidently.

Key Takeaways

  • The ADA is a key law that forbids discrimination against people with disabilities in various walks of life, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations and engaging in an interactive process with employees.
  • Disability discrimination can manifest in many forms, from lack of accommodations and harassment to wrongful termination and retaliation, which are all illegal.
  • Hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is vital for navigating disability discrimination cases, from filing complaints to representing individuals in court, ensuring fair treatment, and possibly winning financial compensation.

Understanding Disability Discrimination Laws

To begin advocating for fairness, one must first comprehend the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is our superhero here, a federal law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace and in public spaces. This act, along with the Civil Rights Act, covers a wide range of areas, from employment to public accommodations and telecommunications.

Yet, what exactly do we mean when we talk about disability discrimination? It refers to the unfavorable treatment of a disabled employee because of their present or past disability, or a close relative’s known disability. Having grasped the basics, we should now delve into the ADA’s key provisions.

Key Provisions of the ADA

The ADA is built on solid, protective pillars. Its Title I prohibits discrimination in various aspects of employment for people with disabilities and mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodations. This means employers should engage in an interactive process with employees to offer accommodations, such as modifying work schedules or providing assistive tools.

Not every ailment qualifies as a disability under the ADA, though. The term “disability” encompasses physical or mental impairments that significantly limit one or more major life activities. It also extends protections to individuals with a record of such impairments or those perceived as having them. While the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, determining undue hardship involves considering factors like the cost of accommodation and the availability of alternatives. Good faith efforts in providing accommodations protect employers from damages.

State Laws Against Disability Discrimination

State and federal laws complement the ADA’s federal framework by offering additional protection against disability discrimination. They often extend beyond federal regulations, granting additional safeguards or establishing different procedures for disability discrimination complaints and lawsuits.

For instance, under Texas Labor Code, Section 21.128, state laws adopt the same standards for reasonable accommodation as federal laws, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. To protect their rights under Texas employment law, employees must file a disability discrimination claim with the TWC-CRD or cross-file with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged incident. An EEOC lawyer can help walk you through this process.

Identifying Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

With the laws in mind, our attention can now shift to recognizing disability discrimination in the workplace. It’s like a puzzle where you connect the pieces to see the bigger picture. It could involve being treated less favorably as an employee or job applicant due to a disability. Or it could be refusing to hire a job applicant because of their disability, especially if the interview process changes unfavorably upon disclosure.

Harassment based on disability that creates a toxic work environment, and adverse actions like firing or demoting due to a disability, are illegal forms of discrimination. Additionally, disabled employees must be afforded equal opportunities, and being overlooked for promotions due to a disability can be grounds for a discrimination claim. If internal reports of disability discrimination are ignored or insufficiently addressed, this could signal employer condonation of such discrimination, and may be relevant in a legal claim.

Types of Discrimination

We should further examine the various forms of disability discrimination. The most common violation of the ADA is the lack of accommodation for employees with disabilities, such as not making necessary adjustments or denying access to office areas.

Disability harassment and sexual harassment both include derogatory remarks, jokes, or teasing, contributing to a hostile work environment. Retaliation by employers, like punishing employees for opposing discrimination, is an unlawful form of disability discrimination.

Disability discrimination, as well as age discrimination, can involve unfavorable treatment such as wrongful termination, reduction in hours, or denial of promotion due to an individual’s disability.

Common Scenarios

After discussing the types of discrimination, it’s time to consider some common disability discrimination scenarios. Some examples include:

  • An employer retracting a job offer upon learning of an applicant’s disability during an interview
  • Changing an employee’s schedule or cutting their hours based on their disability
  • Singling out a disabled employee for different treatment
  • Placing them in roles that exacerbate their disability

All of these actions, including gender discrimination and sexual orientation, are considered discriminatory behavior.

Real-life employment discrimination cases include:

  • The termination of an employee with dyslexia due to errors caused by dyslexia at Starbucks, treated as falsification of documents.
  • Walmart faced a lawsuit for terminating an employee with Down Syndrome after implementing a scheduling system change without accommodating her disability-required routine.
  • Employer inaction on complaints of discrimination against disabled employees is strong evidence of a discriminatory work environment.

The Role of a Lawyer in Disability Discrimination Cases

Having identified the forms of discrimination, it is time to consider the steps to take if you are a victim. And that’s where a lawyer steps in. A employment lawyer can provide expert advice on legal strategies, including pre-trial settlement options and other forms of legal relief available. They can empower individuals experiencing workplace discrimination to build a strong case, file a lawsuit, seek financial compensation, and bring the employer to justice.

It is vital to select a well-informed lawyer who has a history of handling similar cases, as they can provide insights on the potential success of the case, given the specific requirements of disability laws. Disability discrimination cases can result in compensating for emotional distress and mental anguish experienced by the victim.

Lawyers practicing in disability discrimination take on vital roles by:

  • Ensuring fair treatment in the workplace
  • Providing legal aid
  • Investigating claims
  • Negotiating settlements
  • Offering courtroom representation

They are well-versed in working with the EEOC, the federal agency that enforces ADA employment provisions, including those related to reasonable accommodations.

An aspect of these lawyers’ expertise includes navigating clients through the ADA Mediation Program, a voluntary, impartial, and confidential way to settle disputes outside of court. This specialized knowledge can be instrumental in guiding a victim through their legal journey.

Representation in Negotiations and Court Proceedings

In negotiations, having a lawyer can:

  • Balance power disparities against employers
  • Safeguard the interests of the individual
  • Help in creating a strategic approach to negotiations
  • Assist in the compilation of evidence and necessary documentation

An employment lawyer in disability discrimination can provide these services and more.

In situations involving mediation or alternative dispute resolution during negotiations, a lawyer’s expertise helps in effectively presenting the case and protecting the client’s rights. Lawyers critically assess settlement offers to ensure they meet the client’s needs and interests and are just and comprehensive.

Should settlement talks be unproductive, a lawyer who is well-acquainted with the case can streamline the progression to litigation.

Steps to Take When Facing Disability Discrimination

If you find yourself facing disability discrimination, it is imperative to understand the necessary steps to take. To protect oneself and seek justice, taking action after experiencing disability discrimination is essential. This includes following the employer’s prescribed internal procedures for reporting workplace discrimination to notify the employer formally. Failing to notify the employer about workplace discrimination can lead to a weaker legal case against the employer.

A disability discrimination lawyer plays a crucial role by:

  • Evaluating case merits
  • Assisting with filing complaints
  • Engaging in negotiations
  • Representing clients in court
  • Providing continuous legal advice

In the following subsections, we’ll discuss these steps in more detail.

Documenting Evidence

In this battle, evidence is your most potent ally. Evidence makes all the difference between a lawful termination and a discrimination claim and determines whether there are grounds for a wrongful termination case. Evidence for disability discrimination cases can include:

  • Performance reports
  • Workplace communications
  • Work samples
  • Written testimonies
  • Eyewitness accounts

Maintaining a detailed record of any discriminatory treatment, including those based on national origin, is also crucial.

While direct evidence, such as a written statement from an employer, is compelling, it is rare. Thus, circumstantial evidence, like comparing treatment with non-disabled coworkers, is frequently used to support discrimination claims. Filing a formal written complaint with HR or management creates an official record of the discrimination allegations, and copies of this complaint along with any follow-up correspondence should be retained.

Reporting to HR and Management

Once you have collected enough evidence, the next step is to report the problem. Reporting disability discrimination promptly and accurately to human resources and management is crucial for resolving the issue effectively. When reporting to HR, include detailed information about the discrimination incidents, specifying dates, locations, and the people involved, to ensure a thorough investigation can be conducted.

Filing a Complaint with the EEOC or State Agency

After reporting the problem to the HR department, the next step is to lodge a complaint with the appropriate authorities. Disability discrimination complaints with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination in Texas. Complaints related to employment discrimination should be filed with the EEOC according to their specific filing instructions.

Complaints are automatically submitted to the EEOC, known as the dual filing process. After filing a complaint with the TWC, they review the complaint for compliance with statutory requirements, and may offer mediation for both parties before conducting a neutral investigation if mediation fails. To file a discrimination complaint with the TWC, the company in question must employ at least 15 people.

Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Case

After taking the necessary steps, the next crucial task is to find the right lawyer for your case. This involves assessing their:

  • experience
  • expertise
  • communication
  • accessibility

to ensure successful legal representation.

You should check a lawyer’s credentials, including:

  • how long they have been practicing
  • any certifications they have
  • their experience in your area
  • the volume of cases they manage annually

Research and get referrals for disability discrimination lawyers, use online directories, and set up consultations to assess their suitability for your case.

Experience and Expertise

A lawyer’s experience and expertise in disability discrimination cases can be verified by their credentials, years of practice, and success rates.

Selecting a lawyer who has high approval rates for their disability discrimination cases at the appeals level is indicative of experienced and successful legal representation.

Communication and Accessibility

In addition to experience and expertise, your lawyer’s communication skills and accessibility are of equal significance. A lawyer’s accessibility for meetings and responsiveness in document handling is crucial for efficient case management.

Ensuring clear and ongoing communication with your lawyer can have a significant impact on the progress and result of your disability discrimination case.


We’ve covered quite a journey, haven’t we? From understanding disability discrimination laws such as the ADA and state laws to identifying discrimination in the workplace and the various forms it can take. We’ve also discussed the crucial role of a lawyer in such cases and the steps to take when facing disability discrimination, including documenting evidence, reporting to HR and management, and filing a complaint with the EEOC or state agency.

Choosing the right lawyer for your case is no small feat, considering factors like their experience, expertise, communication, and accessibility. But remember, you’re not alone. Armed with knowledge and backed by a robust legal support system, you’ve got the power to fight for fairness. Because everyone deserves a workplace that respects and values them, disability or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination can take many forms, such as modifying the workplace or providing assistive technology. It’s also unlawful to treat an employee with a disability differently than other employees. Discrimination is prohibited by federal law and includes denying benefits or opportunities solely because of a person’s disability. For example, it’s illegal to exclude someone from participation in a program or activity based on their disability. This kind of discrimination is also covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

What to do if you think you are being discriminated against at work?

You should file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, and if they find reason to believe you have experienced unlawful discrimination, they will issue a “right to sue” letter. This can help you take further legal action if necessary.

How can we solve discrimination against disabled people?

To solve discrimination against disabled people, employers can take steps such as providing workplace accommodations, fostering a supportive environment for disabled employees, and ensuring non-discrimination requirements are met. It’s important to create a more inclusive workplace to accommodate the needs of all individuals.

What is an example of disability discrimination?

An example of disability discrimination is when someone harasses you by making jokes about your disability, or victimizes you for taking legal action against discrimination. It’s not okay to treat someone this way just because they have a disability.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA is a federal law that safeguards people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace and public spaces. It ensures equal opportunities and access for everyone.

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