The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHR) prohibits discrimination in employment, including hiring because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), disability, or age (40 years or older) (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.051 et seq.). The TCHR prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants by limiting, segregating, or classifying applicants based on their protected status. The TCHR applies to all public employers and to private employers with 15 or more employees. Additional information is available.
Religious accommodation. Under the TCHR, employers must reasonably accommodate the religious observance or practice of a job applicant unless the accommodation creates an undue hardship for the employer.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of one of the protected characteristics if that characteristic constitutes a reasonable BFOQ for the job in question. A BFOQ is a qualification that is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business or enterprise. For example, being female would be a reasonable BFOQ for a job modeling women's clothing.
Note: Unlike disability, religion, sex, national origin, and age, there is no exception for race or color as a BFOQ under the TCHR (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.119). BFOQ exceptions are narrowly interpreted and employers should use extreme caution in relying on a BFOQ when making employment decisions that may have a discriminatory effect.