Employer Retaliating Against A Discrimination Complaint You Filed?
Federal and Texas employment laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who oppose discrimination, report discrimination, participate in discrimination investigations or file Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) charges of workplace discrimination retaliation.
Dallas discrimination attorney Dan A. Atkerson has been representing victims of gender discrimination, racial discrimination and workplace retaliation for more than three decades. Our employment retaliation attorney understands that reporting discriminatory practices by an employer is a legally protected activity. He has recovered substantial damage awards for victims of employer retaliation.
Employment Laws Protect North Texas Workers from Retaliation on the Job
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the primary federal law that prohibits gender discrimination and sexual harassment, religious discrimination, national origin discrimination and racial discrimination in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits disability discrimination.
Laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 also prohibit other discriminatory practices and retaliation by employers.
Any type of employment discrimination can create a hostile work environment, which is why it may be essential to file a complaint or report these actions. However, you should speak with a Dallas discrimination attorney if an employer retaliates against you for speaking out against discrimination in the workplace.
Examples of Employer Retaliation in Texas
Employers that unlawfully retaliate against any employee who reports or assists in reporting workplace discrimination can have an employee retaliation lawsuit filed against them. For example, if an employee with a disability reports disability discrimination to the EEOC and receives a wrongful termination due to employer retaliation, that employee may have an employer retaliation claim for discrimination.
A few actions that should lead you to contact a Dallas discrimination attorney include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Termination (retaliatory discharge)
- Isolation or intimidation in the workplace
- Negative changes to terms of employment, such as insurance benefits
- Negative reassignment, reclassification or transfer
- Retaliation against a coworker testifying in support of a claimant or cooperating in a discrimination investigation
- Undeserved poor performance review or negative employment references
- Unreasonable increase or decrease in job duties
- Unwarranted disciplinary action
An employer retaliation claim has separate elements of proof from a discrimination claim. Depending on the circumstances and facts for the case, some may prove retaliation claims without necessarily having to prove the elements of the underlying gender or racial discrimination claim. An employment retaliation attorney near you can assist in defining for a jury exactly the discriminatory actions and subsequently workplace retaliation you are facing.
What to Do About Employer Retaliation
In a complaint of employer retaliation for filing gender discrimination, racial discrimination, disability discrimination, religious discrimination or other type of employment discrimination claim, an employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a written complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division. The worker must file a charge of discrimination within 300 days of notice of the adverse employment action with the EEOC under federal law or within 180 days of the adverse employment action with the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division under Texas employment law. The agency, after completing any discrimination investigation, has to issue a notice before a worker can file a civil lawsuit. For a claim of racial discrimination under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, workers do not have to file charges of discrimination with the EEOC before filing race discrimination lawsuits.
Important information for workers in certain situations:
- Health Care Employees: Hospital workers, nurses and nursing home staff may be entitled to recover actual damages under Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.134, § 242.133 and § 252.132. Certain time limits apply to provide the Texas Workforce Commission notice.
- Workers’ Compensation: An employee may recover reasonable damages and may be entitled to reinstatement if he or she is subject to employer retaliation for filing Texas workers’ comp for an injury on the job.
- Texas Public Policy Exception: An employee may file suit if he or she received a wrongful discharge for the sole reason of refusing to perform an illegal act. You must file a whistleblower lawsuit within two years.