Safeguarding Your Rights In The Workplace

Houston company settles lawsuit accusing it of only hiring Latinos

Because most employment discrimination lawsuits based on race involve people of color being discriminated against, it is easy to assume that only minorities have the right to make a discrimination claim. However, neither federal nor Texas law states this. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against any workers or job applicants based on race or ethnicity, regardless of what race or ethnicity the targeted group identifies as.

In a local example, a manufacturer based in Houston has settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against it for refusing to hire non-Latino workers for its unskilled laborer jobs.

Hired Spanish speakers only, kept job openings quiet

In at least one case, the EEOC said, when a job applicant who was not Latino and did not speak Spanish went to the company, Champion Fiberglass Inc., to ask for a job, the company refused even to give him an application form. It is not clear from an article about the settlement if the would-be job applicant was white or a person of color.

The EEOC also accused Champion of relying exclusively on word of mouth to publicize its job openings. It appears the business intended to keep non-Spanish speakers from finding out about jobs at the company. As part of the lawsuit settlement, Champion has agreed to do more than word-of-mouth advertising for its job openings and to stop its policy of preferring Latinos for its unskilled labor positions. It will also pay $225,000 to a group of non-Latino job seekers and develop new internal policies against employment discrimination.

Find out if you have a claim

Whether you are part of a class of people that has traditionally experienced employment discrimination or not, you could be entitled to compensation for what happened to you. Discuss your case with a qualified employment law attorney for more information.