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Houston Employment Law Blog

WeWork sued for age discrimination

A major coworking space company called WeWork, which is headquartered on the East Coast, was recently accused of discriminating against workers based on age. In addition, it is facing litigation for alleged gender wage inequity. Likewise, if employees in Texas face age discrimination or other types of employment discrimination, it is within their rights to seek justice through the civil court system.

Federal law states that it is not legal for employers to engage in discrimination against workers who are over the age of 39. However, this type of discrimination continues to happen. According to the federal government's commission on equal employment, more than 16,000 cases related to age discrimination were filed in 2018.

Former university HR exec files race, gender discrimination suit

A former human resources (HR) vice president at a university in another state recently claimed that her employer discriminated against her during her tenure there. The woman, who is black, has therefore filed a lawsuit against the university, seeking damages totaling at least two million dollars for the alleged gender and race discrimination she faced there. Employees in Texas who face discrimination in the workplace may likewise seek to hold their employers accountable in civil court.

In the out-of-state discrimination case, the former HR vice president asserted that the university consistently discriminated and retaliated against her, which made it difficult for her to enjoy and perform her job. The woman claimed that, as a result of the alleged discrimination she endured, she felt powerless, isolated and worthless. These feelings reportedly ended up taking a toll on her personal life along with her work life.

When can you file a claim for employment discrimination?

Experiencing discrimination at work can be demoralizing and frustrating. Whether you experience inappropriate behaviors, comments or more, you may wonder about your options to file a complaint.

Federal and Texas laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace against protected statuses, including based on gender, age, race, disability, religion, nationality and more. When you experience unlawful actions from a coworker, supervisor, customer or more, you need to know your rights to move forward.

Lawmaker group aims to prevent pregnancy discrimination

A bipartisan lawmaker group is trying to boost women's economic security and health in Texas and other parts of the United States. The group is doing this by reintroducing an act known as HR 2694, which promotes fairness for pregnant workers. Specifically, the lawmakers are trying to prevent discrimination by making sure that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers who may not be able to perform all of a job's functions.

The purpose of HR 2694 is to close the loopholes that reportedly exist in the 1978 act, targeting pregnancy discrimination. With the new legislation, employers would not be allowed to deny a woman employment opportunities simply because she needed reasonable accommodations due to being pregnant. These accommodations may include extra bathroom breaks, chairs or bottles of water.

Former female police officer files workplace discrimination suit

A former police officer in another state recently claimed that she was mistreated on the basis of her gender. She also asserted that she was the victim of retaliation at her workplace. The officer thus decided to file a lawsuit against her employer. Individuals in Texas who experience discrimination and retaliation in the workplace can likewise seek justice through the civil court system.

The former officer in the recent out-of-state case claimed that the police chief she used to work under did not treat her in the same way they treated the department's male officers. The police chief is also accused of denying the officer a female uniform. In addition, the woman claimed that her supervisor also called her vile names and insulted her in the presence of the other officers.

Race discrimination can include bias against certain hairstyles

As many Americans have become more willing to discuss race openly, the subtle racism inherent in workplace expectations has come into sharper focus. Without realizing it, many workplaces define “professional” behavior, dress and grooming practices according to white norms. In some cases, these standards are difficult or impossible for non-whites to meet due to inherent differences in physical traits that have no impact on ability or job performance.

Perhaps the best example is hair. Many styles are deemed perfectly acceptable and professional for women in the workplace. But the styles most often considered “unprofessional” are the natural hairstyles of African-American women, including braids, twists and afros. As such, black women face discrimination simply for wearing their hair as it naturally grows (without resorting to extreme measures like chemical treatments to change texture or color).

What types of basic labor laws apply to Texas employers?

Employees often have questions about rest periods, breaks and pay. These are serious matters because all employees have specific rights regarding work. When any of the applicable laws are broken, workers may take legal action.

It is important that you understand not only Texas law, but also federal laws and employer rules regarding these matters. Here are a few basic points that all employees should know.

Sexual orientation discrimination is a problem, but shouldn't be

When people think of workplace protections from discrimination, they may not immediately consider how oppressed the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community remains in the workforce. However, there are specific protections for these individuals in our country that get abused far too often.

In February of 2018, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII makes discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation illegal. This ruling was vital for these employees. A survey by Career Builder noted that of the 3,420 full-time employees who identified as LGBT and participated in the study, 56 percent were repeatedly bullied at work.

Factors that impact age discrimination claims

Age discrimination isn't allowed in the workplace due to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which is a federal law. The law applies to people over 40 years old. For anyone who thinks they are the victim of age discrimination, learning about the applicable laws is important. There are some specific points that can significantly impact these cases.

Employer qualifications

Study shows employees may fare worse in arbitration cases

When you have a complaint about an employer who is breaking the law, one of your primary concerns is getting the behavior to stop. For some individuals, such as those who are victims of discrimination or harassment, legal action is necessary.

The methods of resolution in these cases vary. Sometimes, mediation is possible but there are times when arbitration is used. If you are the employee in the case, you should be very careful if you have to go through arbitration.

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