Star Wars Episode III everywhere

20 05 2005

Star Wars Episode III everywhere

Star Wars Episode III everywhere

Click picture to view bigger version.

Saw this sign while filling gas at 711 gas station. (Sidekick2)

Grant W. Laird, Jr.
http://blog.grantlairdjr.com



Deaf man’s suit claims taunts by boss, co-workers

18 05 2005

First of all, I know this gentleman. He is your average deaf guy who has worked for this company for over a long time. As you’ll see in the article, because of his deafness, co-workers and management continually mistreated him. It’s hard to believe this kind of behavior still happens today. I am fortunate to work for a company who believes in me and, helps me succeed but, I also know for my success story there are numerous stories like this gentleman.

To view Deaf man’s suit claims taunts by boss, co-workers, Click here.

After countless attempts he came to the realization the company was unwilling the stop the discrimination so he filed a complaint with EEOC. Their investigation took almost two years but EEOC found that he was subjected to harassment by supervisors and co-workers and was denied transfers because of his disability. The EEOC also noted that company officials failed to take any action on his complaints.

The sad thing is he is not alone. People with disabilities including deaf are still being discriminated against everyday and it is not an easy battle. If you think you are being discriminated against here are some things that might help if you want to file a complaint:

1. WRITE IT DOWN and SAVE EVERYTHING! Keep a small notepad with you. Write down the location, date, time the discrimination happened, list the people who were there and write down exactly what happened. Save all evidence such as notes, emails, TTY, Relay Service conversations, employees handbooks, company handouts, copies of reviews, disciplinary actions etc. This is what EEOC use to investigate your complaint.

2. Before you can go to court, your complaint must be filed first with either EEOC (Federal) or the (TWC) Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (State). The discrimination must have occurred in the last 300 days for EEOC and in the last 180 days for Texas Workforce Commission.

3. If you think you think you want an attorney, start looking now. It’s okay to ask your network or friends for recommendation. See websights below for additional resources.

4. When you file with EEOC or TWC make sure you let them know if you move or change your contact information, but more importantly keep in touch with your representative (call or email about once a month). If the discrimination is continuing let them know that too (but keep writing it down). Keep ALL the information you receive from the agency. Have a separate notepad to write down when you called your representative, the date you called and what you talked about. This will help you both keep up with what’s happening. When you talk to anyone about your case, be professional. Remember you want them to understand what you have been through. (IMPORTANT: For TWC complaints, you have two years from the date you 1st file your complaint with TWC to file your case in court so watch your dates).

5. When the investigation is completed they will usually issue you a right-to-sue letter. This letter will tell you whether they found cause (in general cause means a reasonable belief that the discrimination did or did not happen). For EEOC this letter gives you 90 days and for TWC 60 days to find an attorney and have your case filed in State or Federal court. Employment attorneys who are familiar with the ADA are hard to find, even if EEOC or TWC finds in your favor. Don’t wait until the last minute to look for an attorney, YOU WILL run out of time. Important: After the 60 or 90 day deadline you could lose your right to file your case in court.

Now does this mean if you do all these things will the Agency find in your favor, you’ll get and attorney or win your case? I don’t know but, hopefully it will help.

Try Advocacy Inc. but keep in mind they are over-whelmed with work. They may only consider cases that are top priority, have a strong potential to win and may affect change for a large number of people. If they turn you down, you can try appeal their decision, and see if they change their mind. In the mean time keep looking for other possibilities.

As I said before this is not easy; it can be complicated but, don’t let that stop you! The goal is not to give up! The only way discrimination is going to stop is if companies and courts see that people have the evidence, are willing to file with EEOC or TWC and are willing to stand up for their rights. Hopefully this will improve the workplace for people with disabilities.

All the information listed is a general guideline. I’ve tried my best to be accurate but, it is your responsibility to do the research and contact people.

EMPOWER YOURSELF AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

For more resources check the following websites:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – click here.

Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division – Our mission is to make Texas an even greater place to live, work, play and raise our families by reducing discrimination in employment and housing through education and outreach programs and the enforcement of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act and Texas Fair Housing Act.

Advocacy, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation funded by the United States Congress to protect and advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities in Texas. Contact Advocacy Inc for an office near you.

DARS Office of Deaf & Hard of Hearing – This is a great place for resources. They also have 11 Regional Specialist though out the state of Texas that you can also contact for information too.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has been fighting for the civil rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans since 1880. As a national federation of state association, organizational and business affiliates, the NAD offers grassroots and youth leadership development and legal expertise across a broad spectrum of areas including, but not limited to, accessibility, education, employment, healthcare, mental health, rehabilitation, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Of course, you can always hire private lawyer. As I said before try an Employment Lawyer. If they are not familiar with the ADA suggest they contact DARS or NAD for more information how the ADA applies to deaf people. To locate lawyers in your area try the American Bar Association. For Dallas try http://www.dallasbar.com and Tarrant County http://www.tarrantbar.org

For more information about various laws on discrimination visit ILRU Disability Law Resource Project – click here. You can also visit the ADA homepage.

To view Deaf man’s suit claims taunts by boss, co-workers, Click here.

P.S. Special thanks to my dear friend for helps me out on this one. I did posted original one last week but I decided to withdraw so we can add more information on this one.

Grant W. Laird, Jr.
http://blog.grantlairdjr.com