The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, disability, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), national origin, or age (40 years of age or older) (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.001 et seq.).
The TCHRA applies to all public employers, including elected officials, and private employers, including labor unions and employment agencies, with 15 or more employees. The law does not apply to out-of-state employees of Texas-based companies.
Sexual orientation. A state appellate court has held that the TCHRA covers claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation (Tarrant County College District v. Sims, No. 05-20-00351 (5th Dist. TX 2021)). The court looked to federal law for guidance and cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 opinion that discrimination because of sex under Title VII includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.
Genetic information. A separate law prohibits employers from discriminating based on genetic test results or an individual's refusal to submit to genetic testing (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.401 et seq.).
Under the state human rights 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 based on a protected characteristic.
• Retaliate against any individual who has opposed a discriminatory practice; has made or filed a charge or complaint; or testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law.
• Limit, segregate, or classify an employee or job applicant based on a protected characteristic in ...