Employment Discrimination in Texas

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 What Are the Employment Discrimination Laws in Texas?

Discrimination, in general, is defined as any situation in which an individual is treated less favorably due to their membership or association with a particular characteristic or group, for example, their:

  • Sex;
  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Political affiliation;
  • Religion; or
  • Disability.

A group may also be treated more favorably than another individual based on certain backgrounds or characteristics. These characteristics are referred to as protected classes under anti-discrimination laws.

In addition to the characteristics listed above, it may also include an individual’s status as LGBT or nationality. There may also be other categories included in some laws.

Discriminatory behavior is prohibited under local, state, and federal laws. Typically, examples of parties prohibited from discriminating include:

  • Employers;
  • Landlords;
  • Lenders;
  • Other parties.

If an individual believes they are being discriminated against at work, they should consult with a local Texas lawyer.

What Is Multiple Factor Employment Discrimination?

It is common for employment discrimination cases to involve only one characteristic. For example, an individual can be discriminated against based on their age or country of origin.

Multiple-factor employment discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates against an individual based on more than one trait or characteristic. Groups and individuals may be involved in the process in numerous different contexts.

What Is Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employment discrimination is one of the most common types of discrimination. One group of employees may be treated more favorably than another based on their membership in a protected class. Employment discrimination may also involve other issues, for example:

  • Harassment involving discrimination, such as harassing a worker due to their age;
  • Termination;
  • Denial of benefits;
  • Other characteristics such as an individual’s status as a temporary or seasonal employee.

Under federal employment discrimination laws, workplace discrimination may lead to various legal consequences. In addition, state laws regulate discrimination in the workplace.

It is important for an individual to check their local laws and consult with a local attorney before taking action, as the laws can vary by state.

What Are Some Other Examples of Discrimination?

Under labor laws, there are numerous different types of discrimination claims and disputes. Discrimination may occur in the following ways:

Discrimination may also occur based on less common backgrounds and characteristics. Discrimination against an individual who has a legally recognized medical condition is, in general, illegal.

Examples of these types of discrimination include:

What Are Some Less Well-Known Discrimination Claims?

There are also some less well-known discrimination claims, such as:

In addition, certain discrimination cases may involve numerous factors. For example, an employer may discriminate against a worker due to their gender and race.

It is important to note that there may be some rare exceptions to discrimination laws. For example, a religious organization may have a right to discriminate on the basis of religion, such as by excluding potential members based on their religious background.

Do Employees Have Rights to a Discrimination-Free Workplace?

Under Texas employment laws as well as federal laws, all workers have a right to a workplace free from discrimination in the workplace. This right includes vacation time, medical benefits, and fair wages.

An employer is not permitted to deny workers these types of benefits based on their membership in a protected class. In addition, discriminatory termination is also prohibited.

Numerous federal anti-discrimination laws establish departments or administrative agencies that investigate discrimination claims and provide suitable remedies. One example of this is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

An employee may file a claim with the EEOC if there is a discrimination complaint in an individual’s workplace. The EEOC then investigates the claim and determines a suitable remedy, for example, reinstating an employee to their former position if they were fired based on their age.

Federal and state laws also prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who filed a discrimination claim. If an employer does so, it may be considered wrongful termination.

Can I Sue My Employer for Discrimination?

If an individual has a work-related discrimination claim, they typically have to file a complaint with the EEOC before they are able to file a private civil lawsuit. The EEOC will provide a remedy for the individual’s discrimination case.

There are numerous different remedies that may be available for employment discrimination, depending on the specific facts of the case, including:

  • Being reinstated to a job after being terminated;
  • Obtaining a promotion or other types of benefits that were denied based on discrimination;
  • Obtaining a job hire if the individual was not hired due to discrimination;
  • Payment of lost wages as a result of not working;
  • Requiring the employer and their company to review or redraft their discrimination policies;
  • Removing an employer, supervisor, co-worker, or another individual who engaged in the discrimination; and
  • Various other remedies.

In most cases, an employee can only file a private civil lawsuit if the remedies provided by the EEOC are not satisfactory. It is important to be aware that federal caps on employment discrimination remedies may apply.
In addition, there may be similar state limits. Employment discrimination laws may also apply to co-workers, supervisors, and managers.

It is important to note that employers may have some defenses to disability claims that may not always apply to other individuals or parties.

What Are Some Other (Non-Employment-Related) Types of Discrimination?

There are other forms of discrimination that exist other than employment. An individual can experience discrimination at a government job.

In addition, the government may also discriminate against an individual. Another example is health insurance applications. Other applications of discrimination laws include:

Who Is Protected From Employment Discrimination in Texas?

In Texas, employers may not refuse to hire an individual based on their:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Disability;
  • Religion;
  • Sex; or
  • National origin.

If an individual suspects employment discrimination and reports it, they cannot be terminated or otherwise disciplined.

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are certain exceptions to these rules. For example, workplace diversity programs that consider race are not necessarily illegal.

Employers are not liable simply for hiring the most qualified applicant if the objective requirements of the position implicate a protected class. If an individual has a disability that prevents them from performing their job, their employer may terminate them or refuse to hire them.

For example, an employer who hires males to model male clothes is not breaking the law if they do not hire any women. This is because, based on their sex, women are not qualified for the job.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Texas Employment Discrimination Claim?

If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you, it is important to consult with a Texas discrimination lawyer. Your lawyer can review your claim and advise you of the laws that may apply.

Discrimination claims usually require the assistance of a lawyer because of their complexity. Your lawyer can help you file a claim with the proper agency, such as the EEOC, and continue helping you until your issue is resolved.


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