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Autism and employment discrimination

There are many adults in Texas with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, who live independent lives. Common symptoms of ASD, such as communication difficulties and social awkwardness, do not preclude people from employment. In fact, many people with ASD thrive in careers where they can use their skills in logical thinking and quick memorization.

ASD employment discrimination

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against qualified workers on the basis of having ASD. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ASD employment discrimination is illegal in all aspects of employment, including:

  • Hiring
  • Promotions
  • Benefits
  • Firing

Despite these anti-discrimination laws, unemployment is still a big problem for people with ASD. In 2012, researchers found that just 6% of people with ASD were able to find competitive jobs after leaving school.

Reasonable accommodations

While some ASD symptoms might present challenges in certain work environments, employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations. Just like a blind person may require an accommodation like braille text, a person with ASD may need some type of workplace modification.

Common workplace accommodations for employees with ASD may include:

  • Providing clear instructions in writing instead of relying on verbal communication only.
  • Keeping visual and auditory disturbances to a minimum or providing a worker with noise-canceling headphones.
  • Not expecting a person with ASD to multitask.
  • Offering an individual with ASD an area where they can work alone.

What to do if you have been discriminated against for ASD

If you were fired or turned down for employment because you have ASD, you may be able to file an employment discrimination complaint. A lawyer may be able to help you pursue financial compensation for the lost wages and other financial setbacks that you experienced as a result of the discrimination.