The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination because of religion. The act applies to employers with 15 or more employees (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.001et 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 or 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 religion, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
BFOQ. An employer may make employment decisions based on religion if religion is a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business. Such situations are rare, however, and an employer should exercise great caution when relying on a BFOQ (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.119).
Religious institutions. Religious corporations, associations, societies, or educational institutions may limit employment or give preference to members of the same religion (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.109). The state fair employment laws do not apply to these organizations when a job is connected with the performance of religious activities.