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Discrimination claims: Time to file in Texas may differ

Residents of Houston and other areas of Texas may want to know more about how the size of a business may affect their filing of harassment or discrimination claims. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the size of the business may affect the timeliness of the claim.

What is the timeline?

You must file discrimination or harassment charges within 180 days of when the violation occurred. If that charge is also covered by state or local anti-discrimination laws, the period may be extended to 300 days after the violation.

The previous time limits may not apply to your claim if it is covered by the Equal Pay Act. You would not have to file with the EEOC first to go to court. The EEOC advises, however, that you file under both of these employment discrimination laws within the proper time limits.

Size may matter

You will have 300 days from the discrimination to file a charge if the business has 15 or more employees. Discrimination based on color, race, sex, national origin, disability and/or religion is covered. The law applies to the states of Texas and Louisiana. In these same states, an individual has 300 days to file an age discrimination claim if his or her employer has 20 or more employees.

In cases involving sex, color, race, religion, disability and/or national origin in which an employer has less than 15 employees or age discrimination claims in which there are fewer than 20 employees, the time limit changes to 180 days. This applies to the state of Texas as Louisiana does not have a separate law for businesses with less than 15 workers.

The wise move may be to file promptly when there is any discrimination. If you feel that you or a loved one have been discriminated against at your job, it may be smart to consult an attorney with experience in this type of law. He or she may help you protect your rights.