Lewisville TX Disability Law Attorney
Disability and Accommodations - Asthmatic Wins Disability Suit
If you are disabled, the law may require your employer to make "reasonable accommodations" for your disability, accommodations that allow you to continue to do your job. A recent case from Texas demonstrates that the definition of a "disability" can be broader than you might think.
The case involved a woman who worked in a prison as a drug counselor. The woman suffered from asthma so severe that an asthma attack made her turn blue for lack of oxygen and could send her to the hospital.
The prison began to use air fresheners that triggered the employee's asthma attacks, but, once the prison realized that the air fresheners were causing the asthma attacks, they were removed. However, the prison then installed automatic air fresheners and refused to remove them despite the employee's protests. The prison then compounded its error when it refused to allow her to come to work unless she provided a signed assurance from her doctor that the air fresheners would not affect her and, when such assurance was not forthcoming, she was fired.
At trial, the jury found that the woman's asthma was so severe that it constituted a disability, and it went on to find that the prison failed to make a reasonable accommodation for the woman by removing the air fresheners. The woman was awarded $1.5 million in damages.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic: Accommodations
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Disability Discrimination