The challenges faced by individuals with disabilities are often much harder than they should be. This is why the Americans with Disabilities Act was put into place more than two decades ago. With the ADA came equal opportunity for people with disabilities, allowing them to enter the workplace without fear of bias or discrimination. Even so, these individuals often remain exposed to hazardous working conditions that other workers avoid. This could mean a bathroom without proper assistive equipment or an obstacle that is unavoidable for a person in a wheelchair.
Whatever the situation may be, workers in Houston, Texas, should not be afraid to challenge employers when these dangerous circumstances arise. The provisions of the ADA mandate that the needs of disabled individuals be met without discrimination. If an employer decides to fire a worker after making a request to address a workplace hazard that is specific to her or him, it could constitute retaliation. The employer could be held accountable.
Besides retaliation, other negative situations could arise out of a hazardous work environment. An employee could become injured and if the damage is severe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may send investigators to the scene. It is the job of OSHA agents to determine the cause of the accident and to determine if the employer is responsible. If the employer is determined to be liable, then the company may be cited for violations and fines may be assessed. In addition to this, the injured worker or family members of the individual may choose to file a claim.
If you have been hurt on the job and believe your employer is at fault, speak to an experienced Texas employment law attorney about your case to determine what steps should be taken. Your attorney will work diligently to ensure your rights are protected.
Source: White House Blog, "Celebrating 23 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act" Valerie Jarrett, Jul. 26, 2013