The Texas Labor Code prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of a disability (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.001 et seq.). The law covers all public employers, including elected officials, private employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor unions.
“Disability” is defined as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. Neither drug nor alcohol addiction is considered to be a protected disability under the law. Also excluded from coverage is any currently communicable disease or infection that constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons or that makes the affected person unable to perform the duties of his or her job.
Federal law compared. Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has similar provisions to the state law, an amendment to the ADA changed the definition of a "regarded as" disability. Under the amended ADA, a person is regarded as having an ADA disability if an employer takes adverse employment action against the person because of an actual or perceived impairment. The impairment does not have to substantially limit a major life activity in order to meet the definition of a "regarded as" disability.
The ADA covers private employers with 15 or more employees.
Discriminatory acts under state law include making decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotion, demotions, compensation, or the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of a person's disability. It is also unlawful under the law to classify employment applicants in any way that tends to deprive applicants with disabilities ...