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Employment Discrimination in Houston

Discrimination in the workplace can take on a number of different forms. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer with fifteen or more employees from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, gender, or religion. Some cities in the state of Texas also have additional laws that prohibit employment discrimination.

If you need advice on an employment law issue, including a discrimination case, you should speak with a Houston employment lawyer. Houston employment lawyers can assess your legal issue and can even file a discrimination claim on your behalf. You can find a local lawyer by viewing FindLaw's directory of Houston employment lawyers.

Recently in Employment Discrimination Category

TWC Encourages Equal Employment Opportunity Training

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Houston employers that are looking to avoid discrimination and harassment lawsuits may want to look into Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) training that is provided by the state of Texas. The Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission writes that they offer a variety of comprehensive EEO training programs.

The purpose of the training programs is to provide supervisors and managers of companies with an understanding of EEO. The EEO training programs cover legal issues, including guidelines for hiring, administering evaluations, disciplinary action, terminations and layoffs. The Civil Rights Division offers the EEO training at the requestors site at a minimum cost. The length of the training varies, but is usually from four to eight hours depending on the program.

Past and present employees of the company FMC Technologies claim that they were subjected to racial discrimination on the job and decided to file a lawsuit against the company that asked for $120 million in damages. KHOU News reports that plaintiffs in the case included seven African-American employees that said they were victims of extreme forms of racial harassment.

During one instance, employees said that they found two nooses hanging from the company's shipping dock. Racist name-calling, KKK symbols, confederate flags and swastikas were allegedly in the workplace as well. Employees stated that a lawsuit was filed after FMC Technologies failed to take appropriate action.

Hotel Employee Claims Retaliation After Filing EEOC Complaint

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Mark Reed claims that he worked as a maintenance employee with La Quinta Inns & Suites Inc. for 11 years, but the man is now suing his employer claiming that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation because of his disability.

The Southeast Record reports that Mark Reed is disabled and suffers from a deformity of his left arm and left hand. The employee claimed that he was called derogatory names such as "short-handed" while working with La Quinta and felt humiliated because of his disability. After filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the man claimed that he was retaliated against by having his workload increased and having his overtime opportunities reduced.

Frito Lay Employee Files Age Discrimination Suit

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Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), it's illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees and applicants who are 40 years of age or older based on their age. One 52-year-old employee at Frito Lay is filing an age discrimination suit against the company, alleging violations of ADEA.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that the employee Ismail B. Dhanani was a temporary worker with Frito Lay in Sherman and that he had expressed interest in obtaining a permanent position with Frito Lay on several occasions. Ismail B. Dhanani claimed that his supervisor stated that the permanent accounting positions required a Certified Public Accountant qualification. However, the employee argues that the company hired a 23-year-old female for the position who was not a CPA.

Senate Blocks Paycheck Fairness Act

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A law that would have made it easier for women to file class-action lawsuits against employers for sex-based pay discrimination was turned down in the Senate last week after senators failed to round up the necessary 60 votes to put the bill to a vote. CBS News reports that the Paycheck Fairness Act had strong support from civil rights groups, labor leaders, and the Obama administration, but that Republicans opposed the measure because of fear that such a law would expose employers to more litigation.

Under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), it’s illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of their genetic information. FindLaw states that the law went into effect last year so that patients would not decline to take advantage of the increasing availability of genetic testing for fear that they could lose their jobs or health insurance if the tests revealed adverse information. In 2008, the bill passed in the Senate unanimously and passed in the house by a vote of 414 to 1.

Former Employee Sues Transit Authority in Harris County

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Peter Thachamattam, an Indian from Alief, believed that he was denied a promotion with the Metropolitan Transit Authority because of his race. After complaining of racial discrimination in the workplace, Ultimate Aldine News reported thatthe employee was terminated from the company.

Claiming violations of the Texas Labor Code, Peter Thachamattam is now suing the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Harris County District Court. Thachamattam claims that he was retaliated against for complaining of racial discrimination and now has a Houston employment lawyer representing him in the lawsuit. He is seeking punitive and exemplary damages, as well as court costs in this employment law case.

Cushion Packaging Company Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

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Austin Foam Plastics Inc. has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle an employment discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit. Reliable Plant reports that the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the suit after the company allegedly subjected African-American employees to a racially hostile work environment and allegedly subjected two male employees to a sexually hostile work environment.

No Texas Law On Workplace Discrimination Against Overweight

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Yahoo News reports that overweight women could be suffering from discrimination in the workplace and they may not even know it. Research shows that obese women earn about 6 percent less than thinner women for doing exactly the same work. The employment discrimination against obese women is also three times greater than that of obese men.

While it might not be fair to pay somebody lower wages because of their weight class, the practice is not exactly illegal in the state of Texas. In fact, weight discrimination in employment is not illegal in most U.S. states. According to Yahoo, Michigan is the only state with an anti-weight discrimination statute and there is no federal law to protect workers that are obese or overweight.

Are Employment Credit Checks A Form of Racial Discrimination?

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It's common for employers in Texas to do credit checks on job applicants, as credit scores can be a factor in job eligibility. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently held a hearing and heard concerns about the use of employment credit checks as a selection criteria in employment.

The Wall Street Journal reports that people opposed to checking credit in the hiring of applicants cite studies showing that African-Americans and Latinos tend to have lower credit scores. Hence, they say that employment credit checks discriminate against African American and Latinos applicants. Opponents of the practice also question whether credit reports are an accurate way to measure an employee's qualifications, especially since credit reports sometimes contain errors and incomplete information.