Equal opportunity employment in Texas: a roadmap

Understanding the specific rules of Texas employment discrimination can help workers know if they are being treated unfairly, and what to do if it happens.

For those looking for work in the State of Texas, the process of finding employment may be a challenge due to multiple factors. However, one guarantee that is given to all Texas citizens via the State legislature is that nobody may be discriminated against in the process of hiring. Someone who is looking for a job and is concerned that there may be possible discrimination in play would want to know the specific types of discrimination that are covered in the State laws. This way people can be better prepared to seek employment, and they can also be ready to point out any discriminatory practices that occur.

What are the equal opportunity laws in Texas?

The State of Texas has a couple laws that make it stand out among other States. One such law is the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, which prevents discrimination against employees based on their history of workers' compensation claims. When looking at job applicants' claim history, discriminating would typically be considered disability discrimination. Along with disability, Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code protects employees from discrimination on the basis of age, religion, national origin, gender, color or race, and these protections apply to any employer with 15 or more employees.

What are the federal equal opportunity laws in Texas?

In addition to the State laws mentioned above, there are also some federal protections that workers and job applicants can enjoy. The Civil Rights act of 1966 protects employees in any size company from discrimination based on race. There are also Federal laws which protect people from being discriminated due to having filed bankruptcy and national origin. The laws that protect people from discrimination based on disability, pregnancy and civil rights such as religion and gender all apply only to employers with at least 15 workers, while the age discrimination law applies only to those with at least 20 workers.

How to submit a complaint in Texas

After referencing the legislature, those who feel like one of the laws has been violated have a process they can follow to file a complaint with the State. The state provides an Employee Discrimination Complaint form on their website. To be considered a valid complaint, the discrimination must include harm to employment, such as termination or denial of promotion. A discrimination complaint may also be filed if it involves any of the categories discussed in the above section. The other requirements are that the complaint be filed within 180 days of the incident, and that the address of the workplace must be within the State of Texas.

Those living in Texas who feel that they have been discriminated against may be entitled to financial compensation. An attorney in the local area who practices employment law may be able to help form a compelling case for an alleged discrimination complaint.