·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


What Rights Do Texas Employees Have?

— October 13, 2022

An employer is not allowed to retaliate against an employee who makes a complaint concerning work conditions, unfair wages, work safety or discrimination.

Public and private employees in Texas have many rights granted under state and federal labor or anti-discrimination laws. For instance, employees have the right to receive fair and accurate wages or workers compensation if they are injured on the job. Also, all employees have the right to a safe workplace free from any type of discrimination.

In theory, employees rights are well covered, but that is not always the case in real life. However, if they have any issue with their employer, Texas employees also have the right to file a complaint or a lawsuit, and be compensated for whatever damages they may have sustained. If you have a work-related problem, you should get in touch with a good Texas employment lawyer and see that justice is done.

How is discrimination defined in Texas?

Texas employees are protected against discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, etc. The law forbids any discriminatory hiring, personnel and firing practices.

Couples Struggling with Getting Pregnant Also Struggle with High Bills
Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Texas employers are strongly encouraged to include their anti-discrimination policy in the employee handbook so that everyone knows what to expect and what is strictly forbidden in the workplace. 

If you believe an employer turned down your job application because you happened to be in a protected class, you should reach out to an employment lawyer in Houston. For instance, if you are a person of color and you believe the employer chose to hire a white person who was less qualified over you, you may have a case of racial discrimination and you can file a complaint.

Also, if you are unfairly treated in the workplace because of a protected characteristic this is illegal. 

How can you file a complaint for sexual harassment in Texas?

Sexual harassment is illegal no matter what form it takes. Whether it’s your boss who’s pressuring you into having sex with him or your coworkers who make sexually-explicit comments and jokes and touch you in an offensive way, that constitutes sexual harassment.

Before you do anything, you should see a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment to see if you have a case and what sort of proof you can use to substantiate your complaint. 

If your case goes before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you should be able to show that the harassment you were subjected to was of a pervasive nature and the suffering it caused you impacted your capacity to perform your job duties. 

Can my employer retaliate against me?

An employer is not allowed to retaliate against an employee who makes a complaint concerning work conditions, unfair wages, work safety or discrimination. Also, it is illegal for them to retaliate against any employee denouncing illegal activities or practices in the company. 

At the same time, employees participating in an investigation into a complaint are protected against retaliation. If, for instance, an employer retaliates against a whistleblower, that person can hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. 

If the case goes to trial, that person can recover damages for the emotional distress the actions of their employer caused them. Also, they are entitled to get damages for lost wages if they were illegally fired. The judge may also award them punitive damages if the actions of their employer are found to be of an egregious nature. 

Join the conversation!