Disability Discrimination Lawyers serving Bryan, San Antonio, Edinburg, Monterrey and surrounding areas
We fight on behalf of you and your loved ones to receive just compensation for your damages.
Disability Discrimination Attorney
If you believe that you are the victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, the lawyers at Hernandez Law Firm will fight for your rights. Whether you suffer from either a physical disability or mental disability, or if you are a disabled employee and your employer is refusing to provide you with reasonable accommodations, we can help you.
Texas state and federal laws prohibit disability discrimination and/or harassment by employers or coworkers. Laws also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals, unless it would cause the employer “undue hardship.”
A successful claim must prove that you have a disability and that you are capable of performing the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodation. The claim must also prove that you were unlawfully discriminated against because of your disability. It is important to have a qualified employment lawyer representing you in your case. Our attorneys can evaluate the facts of your case, along with all the evidence and negotiate your requests with your employer. We will work with you to protect your rights.
What Is An Employer's Responsibility?
An employer is required to provide access to workplace facilities for disabled individuals. In addition, an employer must reassign a disabled employee to a vacant position for which the disabled employee is qualified and modify work schedules if necessary. An employer must also provide modified equipment to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee. However, any accommodations must be reasonable and not impose an "undue hardship" on the business.
If an employer failed to accommodate your special needs (such as declining valid medical leaves of absence or extensions of medical leaves of absence), failed to grant you leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or discharged you for requesting accommodations, you could have a disability discrimination case on your hands. If you have a rightful claim, you could be entitled to compensation for your lost salary, benefits, and pain and suffering. In some instances, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Laws on Disability Discrimination
Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 (Chapter 21) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants or employees with disabilities in job application, procedures, conditions and privileges of employment. The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees, as well as all state and local governmental entities, regardless of the number of employees they may have.
A qualified individual under Chapter 21 and ADA meets one or more of these requirements:
- Has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Has a record of having a disability
- Is regarded as having a disability
Employees with disabilities must be able to perform their job function with or without reasonable accommodation. If you are a disabled employee in need of reasonable accommodation due to your disability, you make your request to your employer. A reasonable accommodation is any equipment or other items, or some action that would enable you to perform your job function.
For example, reasonable accommodation may be:
- Readily accessible buildings and bathroom
- Work schedule accommodation or reassignment to a vacant position that you are qualified for
- Equipment or devices that will aid you in performing your job function
- Additional training that will aid you in performing your job function
- Qualified readers or interpreters, if necessary
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation unless the request would be a significant difficulty or require extraordinary expense to the employer.
An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to accommodate a disabled applicant or employee.
Medical Examination & Questions
When you are applying or interviewing for a job, the employer may NOT ask you if you have a disability. However, the employer can ask you about your ability to perform specific job functions related to the position.
An employer can base a job offer on the results of a medical examination, but only if the medical examination is also required for all entering employees for similar jobs. Medical examinations of employees and applicants must be job related and consistent with the needs of the business.
Drugs and Alcohol
An employer has the right to base an employment decision on an employee of applicants current use of drugs or alcohol and employees and applicants are not covered by Chapter 21 or the ADA. Drug tests to detect illegal drug use are not restricted by the ADA, and employers may hold drug and alcohol users to the same performance standards as they do other employees.
Harassment based on a disability or history of a disability is illegal and violates Texas and Federal EEO laws.
Call Us Today for a FREE Disability Discrimination CONSULTATION!
How We Handle Your Case
Gather All The Evidence. We start every case by gathering all the available evidence, including witnesses, documents and all other available evidence. We also speak directly to any other potential victims and bring in experts if necessary, to understand the details of the termination.
We also gather evidence about your damages. We are experts at gathering the evidence required to build a powerful case and preparing it to present in trial so that a jury can understand and make a fair determination if the case goes to trial.
Calculate Damages. In order to receive just compensation for your damages, we must be able to prove those damages. Damages include lost pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney fees.
We thoroughly review your case to determine the full extent of damages that may be available to you and we seek the maximum damages that you should be entitled. Our trial attorneys know how to present your damages to a jury in trial, if necessary.
Negotiate With The Defense. After we have gathered all the evidence and facts and calculated your damages, we will begin negotiating with the defense. Negotiating with the defense can be a very difficult and frustrating experience if you do not have experience with this process. Our firm generally files a lawsuit on our client's behalf and begins preparing for trial as soon as we begin a case. Filing a lawsuit right away sends a signal to the employer that they need to take this matter seriously. We do the best we can to negotiate, but at some point, negotiations cease and we move towards trial.
Go To Trial. Most of the time, wrongful termination cases settle, sometimes on the courthouse steps, so to speak, other times once evidence is presented. However, not every case can be settled with fair compensation because the employer and their counsel do not believe wrongful termination occurred, or that the case is as valuable as you do.
This is why it is extremely important to have a lawyer that has experience trying cases and is willing, ready, and able to do so on your behalf. Employers are well aware of who they are up against and they treat any settlement offers accordingly. If your lawyer is not experienced at trying cases, the insurance company will not take your case as seriously as they would if you hire an experienced trial attorney from the start.
We Take Disability Discrimination Seriously
Our lawyers take disability discrimination very seriously. Our firm is dedicated to getting you just compensation for your damages and will aggressively pursue your case from beginning to end, even if that requires a trial to verdict.
We recognize that disability discrimination cases often have significant consequences that affect victims and their families and loved ones in many ways. Loss of income, loss of benefits and emotional distress all have serious consequences.
When appropriate, we will hire experts and consultants to help evaluate the evidence to determine damages. We will take witness depositions and retain any experts to establish that wrongful termination occurred.
The lawyers at the Hernandez Law Firm represent clients from all over Texas. Our lawyers understand the details of federal laws regarding disability discrimination that may apply to your potential disability discrimination claim. Our lawyers have the experience and expertise necessary to determine the validity of a disability discrimination claim and pursue all appropriate claims and to recover all remedies and/or monetary compensation available.
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The Hernandez Law Firm provides practical solutions for our clients legal problems. The law firm has built its success by being responsive to client concerns and applying hard work with integrity to find creative legal solutions.