Each year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives thousands of workplace discrimination complaints from workers in Texas. A large percentage of those complaints are from employees who came forward about discrimination in their workplace and subsequently faced retaliation, or negative employment action, because they spoke up in the face of discriminatory practices.
In 2011, the EEOC received more workplace discrimination complaints from workers in Texas than in any other state. In the over 9,000 charges of workplace discrimination from Texas, the largest group was from employees who came forward about discrimination and faced retaliation – negative employment action – because they spoke up in the face of discriminatory practices.
In Texas, or in any state, you should never have to tolerate workplace discrimination based on sex, gender, pregnancy, race, age, disability, or religion. Unfortunately, the threat of retaliation keeps many victims quiet. If your employer has discriminated against you because you are in a protected class or engaged in a protected activity, there are federal and state laws that protect your rights. Work with a strong Austin, Texas workplace discrimination attorney at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers to fight against workplace discrimination.
Types of Workplace Discrimination in Texas
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms; some overt and others obvious. Discrimination occurs when an employer bases hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, training, compensation, or other terms of employment decisions on something other than merit.
Sex discrimination describes an employer discriminating against an individual based on his or her sex, sexual orientation, or gender. Sex discrimination includes actions such as hiring or promoting men but not women, unequal pay, and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be between a male and female – it can be between two females or two males. Sex discrimination can take the form of inappropriate physical or verbal contact of a sexual nature, persistent offensive actions relating to one’s sex, or other sex- and gender-related discrimination.
Racial discrimination is unlawful based on the Texas Labor Code and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Race and national origin discrimination involve an employer basing employment, training, compensation, and other workplace decisions on an individual’s skin color, hair texture or style, pigmentation, or ancestry.
Pregnancy discrimination can take the form of an employer deciding to hire someone less qualified because they don’t want to employ a pregnant worker. Other forms of pregnancy discrimination include failing to give a woman who is pregnant, undergoing a miscarriage or abortion, or going through childbirth the same rights as disabled employees (medical leave, job guarantee, etc.). Most employers are also required to provide “reasonable accommodations” to an employee’s known limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions unless the employer can prove “undue hardship” due to such accommodations.
Age discrimination involves an employer treating an employee differently because he or she is 40 or older. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits this in the workplace, and the courts can hold those guilty of breaking this law financially responsible for lost wages and other damages – including what he or she would have earned in a promotion were it not for the age discrimination.
Disability discrimination encompasses any form of workplace discrimination based on an individual’s existing or past disabilities. An employer can’t terminate or demote an employee based solely on his or her disability, nor is an employer allowed to ask if an individual is disabled on an application. As long as the applicant can perform the job duties with or without reasonable accommodation, an employer can’t refuse to hire him or her based on the disability.
Religious discrimination can include an employer considering an employee’s religion in hiring, firing, or other decisions. It can also involve the employer or other employees’ harassment of someone based on religion. When employers fail to reasonably accommodate a worker’s religious needs, they’re in violation of the law. For example, if an employer fires someone over missing work due to a religious holiday, the courts may hold the employer liable for lost wages and other damages.
Hire an Austin Workplace Discrimination Attorney at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers
If your employer uses race, sex, disability, and any other kind of discriminatory practice against you during a work-related action, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees. The Austin employment lawyers at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers have asserted the rights of victims of workplace discrimination since 1998 using aggressive litigation and compassionate client care. Contact Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers today by calling us for an initial phone evaluation.