Racial Discrimination Laws in Texas


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As one of the most racially diverse states in the union, Texas enjoys some of the most fair working conditions and strictest laws regarding racial discrimination.  This is not to say that racial discrimination never happens in Texas workplaces, however. As the laws get stricter and stricter and the consequences for companies become more severe, it often becomes the case that racial discrimination simply goes unreported.  Employees are afraid that they will lose their jobs or experience other disciplinary action if they are caught and labeled as "whistle blowers." Unfortunately, this can lead to companies continuing with their discriminatory practices even if they are not aware that they are discriminating or have not done so intentionally.


While Texas laws mostly echo federal statutes regarding civil rights and race discrimination, Texas is renowned for strict enforcement of racial discrimination laws, and the courts frequently help get to the truth in cases of alleged discrimination.  As in most states, Texas law also offers protection for people who report racial discrimination, whether it happened directly to them or they were asked to participate in discriminatory practices.  In other words, you can file a racial discrimination claim if you feel that you personally have been discriminated against or if you were asked to participate in discriminatory practices against someone else. In either case, your company cannot dismiss you or take any other action against you because of your actions.  This holds true even after a case has been settled and a judgment has been made regardless of what the ruling was.


Racial discrimination has become the focus of awareness more and more over the past few decades as employers strive to create a fair workplace and the law strives to hold unfair workplaces accountable for their practices.  This is not to say, however, that all employers are acting intentionally if it is discovered that a certain company policy favors people of one race over another.  Sometimes, it is enough to bring these matters to the attention of a human resources representative or to management so that the problem may be corrected at that level.  If taking these steps is not sufficient for resolving the discrimination matter or if you are told that the problem is not actually a problem, then you can certainly obtain legal advice as to whether or not you have a racial discrimination claim.


Be aware that there are statutes of limitations for filing racial discrimination claims, however.  You cannot just walk into any Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office and file a racial discrimination claim against someone you worked for ten years ago.  The EEOC requires that in order for a claim to be valid, it must be filed no later than 180 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. If it is a case where the discrimination had been going on for a while and then a "last straw" incident occurred, that final incident is used as the starting date for the 180 days.  Once you have filed your claim, the court process can then get under way to see if the court agrees with your claim.