Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all employment practices.  What constitutes a disability and illegal discrimination is defined in a very specific manner.

Individual with a Disability – An individual with a disability under the ADA is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities are activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty such as walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, and working.

Qualified Individual with a Disability – A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is someone who satisfies skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of that position.

Reasonable Accommodation – Examples of reasonable accommodation include making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; job restructuring and modification of work schedules.

Undue Hardship – An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

These laws generally require filing a Charge with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, or with the federal EEOC within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation.  To fully protect your legal options, you should file within 180 days.  Use of a school district grievance procedure does not stop the clock ticking on these deadlines.

To protect legal rights, the individual who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination should contact EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission immediately.

Further information is available from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at http://www.EEOC.gov; 1-800-669-4000 – (TTY 1-800-669-6820).

Texas Workforce Commission http://twc.state.tx.us; (512) 463-2642, (888) 452-4778 (Toll-free); (800)735-2989 (TDD).