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  • Writer's pictureRic Armstrong

Texas Law and Workplace Discrimination

Employment discrimination generally exists when an employer treats an applicant or employee less favorably merely because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. Employers also cannot discriminate against workers who are 40 or older based on their age.


Employment discrimination applies to work situations such as hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits. Discrimination is usually based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of people or groups.


Harassment can take many different forms. It can involve verbal, physical or visual conduct and can occur on or off the work site. The harassment can be from a manager, a worker, or others in your workplace, such as clients or customers.

In general, teasing, casual comments, or single instances of inappropriate conduct are not illegal. For inappropriate behavior to rise to the level of illegal harassment, it must be unwelcome or unwanted. It must also be severe (meaning very serious) or pervasive (meaning that it happened frequently).


The laws protect workers whether they are complaining about discrimination directed at them or discrimination directed at others. The law also protects them from being punished, treated differently, or harassed at work because they helped someone else report job discrimination.

Requests for Workplace Changes  

Employees have a right to request reasonable changes to your workplace because of their religious beliefs, medical condition, or pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Although you do not have to grant every request, you should carefully consider each request and whether it would be possible.


The Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law. Its role in an investigation is to fairly and accurately assess the allegations in the charge and then make a finding.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the Legal Issues addressed in this blog post, please reach out to Derek Saunders, Keith Strahan, or Richard Armstrong of our firm, shown here:


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