A Texas man is suing his former employer over alleged discrimination and harassment in the workplace. In the suit against Ampco Products LLC, the Denton County man says the company allowed an environment in which he was harassed and humiliated because of his disability. The action was filed on March 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The former employee is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in addition to costs and fees.
The plaintiff started working for Ampco in August 2012. His employment ended in what he describes as wrongful termination in November of that year. During that time, the plaintiff says he was harassed by fellow employees because of his disability. He says that he reported the issue to supervisors but that nothing was ever done. He also claims that he was harassed after he was fired.
The suit alleges that Ampco violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by allowing a hostile work environment to exist and continue. The suit also alleges that the company specifically discriminated against the man because of his disability. Ampco did not offer a comment on the matter.
All employees have the right to a safe work environment, including being free from workplace harassment and humiliation. Individuals with disabilities are especially vulnerable to this kind of abuse because they may feel that they have to deal with it to keep the job. The ADA is designed to protect those with disabilities. However, discrimination does unfortunately still occur. A perceived violation of that statute, whether involving wrongful termination or failure to provide a disabled employee with reasonable accommodations, could give rise to an action for damages.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Ampco Products sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act", Whitney Brakken, March 31, 2014