Disability discrimination in my workspace. Can I take legal action against those responsible?

People with disabilities belong to one of the classes protected by federal and state laws against employment discrimination. Therefore, anyone who believes that they have been a victim of discrimination at the workplace based on their disability and meets the legal requirements can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission and the Civil Rights Division. These instances work in conjunction with the Federal Commission Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) to resolve these cases.

Discrimination and Harassment

The rights of employees in Texas established in its Labor Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination or harassment by private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and workers’ unions against people with disabilities in any labor interaction.

What is meant by disability?

According to the laws already mentioned, a person with a disability is one who:

  • Has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more activities of their daily life,
  • Has a history of disability,
  • Is considered or cared for as a person with such a disability.

In the same sense, an employee or qualified job applicant with a disability is an individual who can perform the essential functions of their job with or without reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations can be simple actions, such as fixing the facilities or changing the schedule or task, allowing the employee to perform the functions required by their job.

How to make a complaint?

The following steps must be followed:

  1. Submit the Employment Discrimination Complaint Form within 180 days of the act of discrimination.
  2. The investigation process, which aims to dismiss the complaint or issue the charge of discrimination.
  3. Mediation, voluntary and optional.
  4. A resolution. If mediation does not work, based on the laws and the evidence presented, it is determined whether or not there is discrimination.