The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination because of race or color. The Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.001 et seq.). Under the state law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms and conditions of employment (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.051).
• Limit, segregate, or classify an employee or job applicant in a manner that would tend to deprive a person of any employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affect employment status.
• Retaliate against any individual who has opposed a discriminatory practice; has made or filed a charge or complaint; or who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.055).
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on race or color (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.059).Note: Race or color is not a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) under state law.
Harassment. A federal district court in Texas has ruled that harassment based on race that creates a hostile work environment violates state law because the law is intended to conform to federal fair employment law (Jackson v. Fed. Express Corp., No. 3:03-CV-2341-D (N.D. Texas 2006)). To establish a case of hostile work environment, an individual must show:
• He or she belonged to a protected group;
• He or she was subject to unwelcome harassment;
• The harassment was based on race;
• The harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment; and
• The employer knew or should have known of the ...