In addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the Act) protects employees who work for the federal government, a program conducted by a federal agency, a program receiving federal financial assistance, or a federal contractor. This Act protects the rights of people with disabilities from discrimination regardless of the number of employees. Legislators designed the Rehabilitation Act in response to the large number of individuals with disabilities who were either unemployed or underemployed based on employers’ reluctance to hire them. Additionally, the Rehabilitation Act requires employers to hire and retain individuals with disabilities.
Section 504 of the Act prohibits employers who receive federal funds from discriminating against a qualified individual with a disability. The Act provides that employers cannot deny benefits, exclude, or discriminate against prospective, current, or former employees based on their disability. Additionally, the Act requires Texas agencies or contract service providers who receive federal funds to recruit actively, employ, and advance qualified disabled individuals.
If a Texas employee believes their employer is discriminating against them, but the ADA does not cover them, they may still be able to pursue a claim based on the Rehabilitation Act. However, the Rehabilitation Act and ADA use the same standards when determining if an employer is engaging in employment discrimination.
To bring a claim based on the Rehabilitation Act, the individual should submit a complaint to the federal agency that provided their employer with the funds. Alternatively, they can file the claim with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Have You Suffered Employment Discrimination by Your Texas Employer?
If your employer has discriminated against you based on your disability, contact the employment discrimination attorneys at Rob Wiley, P.C. We pride ourselves in helping to enforce the state and federal laws that protect employees from unfair discrimination. We have a track record of success across all areas of employment law, including Texas disability discrimination, wage and hour disputes, and retaliation claims. Contact our law firm at 214-528-6500 to schedule your initial consultation.