Workplace discrimination has come a long way over the last generation. In the past, discrimination was blatant and open. Employers would openly state that they would not hire certain races or that women were not capable of doing specific jobs. Thankfully, those days are behind us. However, that does not mean that workplace discrimination has disappeared altogether. Many subtle forms of discrimination occur in the workplace every day in Texas, which, if you are not aware of, you may be blind to them.
Current forms of workplace discrimination
Workplace discrimination can manifest in several different forms today. For example, the law prohibits unequal pay for similarly situated employees if the difference in salary stems from their race, gender or other protected class. This type of discrimination can be difficult to recognize and detect because employers may disguise such practices by giving seemingly legitimate reasons for differences in pay. Additionally, employers cannot discriminate against an employee because of their age. Employers also cannot refuse to hire, promote or otherwise mistreat an employee based on their religion or creed.
What you can do
It is important to know your rights as an employee — both Texas and federal laws protect you from workplace discrimination. If you feel as if your employer is discriminating against you at work, you need proof that can stand in court and even help you win the case. Consider gathering things like emails, memos and any other documents that can be useful to your suit. Additionally, it is essential to keep a record of any meetings or conversations related to discrimination, so you have a timeline of events.
If your employer has discriminated against you, start by filing a complaint with the appropriate agency at the federal or state level. Depending on which law was allegedly violated, you may need to file a claim with either the Texas Workforce Commission (for violations of state law) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (for violations of federal law).