Texas Race Discrimination Attorney Serving Clients in Austin
Race discrimination can take many forms in the workplace. Some types of racial discrimination can be obvious and overt, while others may involve less obvious in hiring or promotion practices. Race discrimination involves treating someone differently [an applicant or employee] unfavorably because of race, or characteristics associated with race [such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features, or skin complexion]. Race discrimination also extends to treating someone differently because the person is married to [or associated with] a person of color. Race discrimination can occur even when the victim and person engaging in the action are the same race or color.
Employees can also face race discrimination from other co-workers, and employers have a duty to maintain a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination.
Race discrimination in Austin, Texas workplaces is unlawful under both federal and state law. Depending upon the specific facts of the case, the worker who has been the target of race discrimination may be able to file a claim under federal or state law. It will be important to discuss the particular elements of your case with an Austin race discrimination lawyer who can help you to determine the best course of action for moving forward with a claim and seeking a remedy.
Federal Law Prohibits Race Discrimination in Austin Workplaces
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of race and color (along with other protected classes) is prohibited in Texas workplaces and in workplaces across the country. Title VII applies to private and public employers who have at least 15 or more employees. Title VII also applies to any federal workplaces. If an employee faces discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, that employee can seek protection and a remedy by filing a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Title VII prohibits race discrimination in any of the following:
- Hiring practices;
- Compensation practices;
- Job assignments;
- Conditions of employment;
- Terms of employment;
- Privileges of employment;
- Promotion practices; and
If you have questions or concerns about race discrimination in the workplace and protections under federal law, you should seek advice from an employment lawyer in Austin as soon as possible.
State Law Prohibits Race Discrimination in Austin Workplaces
Texas State laws also provide protections from race discrimination. The Texas Labor Code, Chapter 21, workers in Austin and throughout Texas are protected against discrimination on the basis of race. According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), employers are prohibited from discrimination against “any employee or applicant in hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.”
Similar to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these protections under the Texas Labor Code apply to private employers with 15 or more employees. However, the protections also extend to “all state and local government entities no matter how many employees that have.”
As the TWC clarifies, an employer is prohibited under Texas law from making any kind of employment decisions based on any of the following:
- Job applicant’s race;
- Current employee’s race;
- Applicant or employee’s marriage to or association with a person of another race;
- Applicant or employee’s membership in or association with an ethnic group or ethnic-based organization; and/or
- Applicant or employee’s attendance or participation in schools or places of worship that are association with people of a certain race or certain minority groups.
Protections Against Retaliation Under Federal and State Law
Both federal and state law provide protections against retaliation for exercising rights under Title VII or under the Texas Labor Code. Retaliation can include any type of negative action taken by an employer in response to an employee exercising his or her rights. For example, retaliation can include a demotion, failure to provide certain work or training opportunities, denial of benefits, reduction in work hours, transfer to a less appealing department or position, or termination.
If an employer has retaliated against you for reporting a violation of federal or state law, or for filing a race discrimination claim in the workplace, you may be able to file a retaliation claim.
How to File a Race Discrimination Claim in Austin, Texas
You may be able to file a race discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or with the Texas Workforce Civil Rights Division. If you file a claim with the EEOC, it is considered dual filed with the state agency at the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division. Time limitations apply to filing race discrimination claims with the EEOC and the Texas Workforce Commission and you should speak to an Austin Board Certified Labor and Employment law attorney to discuss your options with you and can help you with the filing process.
Contact an Austin Race Discrimination Attorney
If you have faced racial discrimination in the workplace in Austin, or if your employer has retaliated against you for filing a race discrimination claim under federal or state law, you should know that you have legal protections under state and federal law. An experienced, Board Certified Labor and Employment attorney in Austin can discuss remedies for workplace discrimination on the basis of race, as well as remedies for retaliation. Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey A. Goldberg to learn more about the services we provide to clients in and around Austin, Texas.