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Houston Employment Law Blog


Applicants win workplace discrimination settlement of $780,000

After being under a high level of scrutiny, the Austin Fire Department can continue with its hiring process for cadets. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a test that was administered as a condition for employment with the Texas city were discriminatory. The test was considered a form of workplace discrimination because it could allegedly rule out black and Latino applicants.

Although the process was changed in 2013 to avoid these types of practices, the Justice Department contended that it still was discriminatory. The hiring process was halted until a ruling was made about the test. The city did not believe that it was in violation of the law and the Austin Firefighters Association agreed.

A class action sexual harassment lawsuit is brought against Ford

Every person in the workplace should be mindful of his or her behavior. Certain actions are offensive and can be considered to be sexual harassment. Texas employees who speak out about such behavior expect it to cease, but some companies choose not to handle these situations properly and may inadvertently allow the harassment to continue.

A group of women who worked at Ford's South Side factory are claiming that they consistently found themselves in a hostile work environment. The class action lawsuit, representing more than 20 women, is accusing the company of allowing them to be subject to various types of sexual harassment. Among other complaints, the plaintiffs state that they were touched inappropriately and without their consent, and were subjected to lewd language.

Teoman files workplace discrimination suit for disability and race

If an employee is still able to perform the essential functions of his or her job, age should not be a factor in job retention. A Texas woman who worked for Bank of America is claiming that her termination was the result of workplace discrimination due to her age and disability. The 60-year-old woman began working for the company in 2010 as an assistant vice president.

The woman claims that her supervisor was making negative remarks toward her regarding her age. On several occasions, her boss allegedly made comments that inferred that she could not do her job as effectively as her younger peers. She asserts that she was given more audits to do than her younger co-workers and then was disciplined for not completing everything assigned to her. In addition, according to her claims, the younger workers were not reprimanded for not finishing all of their audits.

Woman gets EEOC approval for her sexual harassment claim

While at work, employees should feel that they are safe and can work in a conducive environment. Unfortunately, however, that is not always the case. Knowingly or unknowingly, some Texas employees do not know the boundaries between making a funny joke to relate to their co-workers and sexual harassment that makes them feel uncomfortable.

A former employee for the acclaimed Sweetie Pie's restaurant is alleging that she was victim of sexual harassment. She claims that her harassment started on her first day of work. The woman claims that she told her fellow co-worker that she was married, but that did not stop him from inappropriately touching her.

Woman claims wrongful termination because of her spouse's race

When most people are subjected to illegal, unfair treatment in the workplace, it is usually due to their own protected status characteristics. According to a former employee for Fast Eddie's pool hall and sports bar in Texas, her wrongful termination didn't have anything to do with her. She claims that she was discriminated against because of the color of her husband's skin.

The white woman worked at the hall and was bestowed an award for having the most sales in the company. For her efforts, she won a vacation and would be going with the company's owners and management. For more enjoyment on the vacation, the woman brought her black husband with her. While on the trip, she claims that one of the owners gave her spouse an award of his own for having the best suntan.

Black Hershey sales rep claims race discrimination after firing

Even the sweetest place on earth can have difficulties in the workplace. A former employee who was a sales representative for Hershey believes that she was the victim of race discrimination. The black Texas rep worked for the company for over eight years until she allegedly lost her job to a white female employee.

She claims that her boss told her the reason for her termination was because she had entered false information regarding how long she was spending on building displays and stocking in stores. According to her lawsuit, her superior -- who is also black -- told the other black employees -- in particular -- how to enter time incorrectly into the system. She asserts that he also said that black employees were going to be targeted to be fired because of their race.

Man claims wrongful termination after reporting sexual harassment

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but if an employee sees suspicious behavior in the workplace, it is typically best that it be reported to management. In most cases, one may think that this type of behavior would be rewarded and not punished. If a Texas business doesn't wish to deal with certain situations, however, the company may choose to fire the employee who reported the incident. That could lead to a wrongful termination lawsuit.

A man who worked for Baxano Surgical says his former employer retaliated against him for reporting sexual harassment. The man claims that he witnessed another employee sexually harassing one of his female coworkers. He wrote an email to the CEO and president of the company, detailing the events and the workers who were involved.

Pregnant woman accuses her employer of workplace discrimination

Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman's life. Due to the way that the world is changing, more women are remaining in the workforce during their pregnancy. While women are with child, they should be given a reasonable accommodations to allow them to continue to do their work. Unfortunately, some Texas employers look at a woman being pregnant on the job in a negative light and may treat her differently or feel that she is no longer fit to work, ultimately terminating her. The pregnant woman may choose to fight back against her employer by filing a workplace discrimination claim.

A woman who worked as a practice administrator for a dental practice is accusing the company of pregnancy discrimination. Due to the profitability of some of the offices to which she was an administrator, she earned quarterly bonuses that ranged between $800 and $2,000. Once she announced her pregnancy to the new regional administrator, everything began to change. When she first told her supervisor about her pregnancy, she claims her supervisor said that doctor appointments related to her pregnancy could not interfere with her work. A short time after her announcement, many of her profitable offices were given to her supervisor's friend, which greatly reduced her bonus potential.

Teacher claims race discrimination after contract is discontinued

A man who worked as a grade school teacher claims that he lost his job unjustly. He asserts that he lost his job due to race discrimination. The black teacher worked in a Texas school district and alleges that his work life began to change for the worse when a new principal was hired. He claims that, almost right away, the new principal became very critical of his work performance. The principal also is said to have accused the plaintiff of threatening him.

On the contrary, the teacher alleges that he was the one who was threatened. The threats prompted him to file a claim with the EEOC and the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division. He was later told that his contract was being discontinued because of poor work performance. According to the plaintiff, up until that point, he did not know of any issues related to his performance.

Sexual harassment claim filed against Texas company

When an employee believes that he or she is being harassed at work, generally the first step is to alert a superior to the issue. At this point, the employer should be following protocol and putting an end to the sexual harassment behavior.  Sadly, there are some Texas businesses that take this type of activity and sweep it under the rug, forcing the employee to deal with the issue alone. In some cases, sometimes a company even fires the employee to avoid dealing with the problem.

A former foreman for Elliott Turbocharger Group Inc., claims that he lost his job after he alerted his superiors to unwanted workplace behavior. He asserts that he heard a group of coworkers making a derogatory homosexual reference toward him. After he allegedly told the men to stop making those types of comments, the activity continued despite his request. He then reported the incident to his superior, who told him that he would discuss the issue with the men.

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