The Texas Human Rights Commission Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), disability, or age (40 years or older). The Act prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants by limiting, segregating, or classifying applicants based on their protected status, but it does not specifically address the issue of application forms (TX Lab. Code Tit. 2 Sec. 21.051 et seq.).
Retaliation prohibited. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against any person who opposes a discriminatory practice, files a charge or complaint, or testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation pertaining to the Act. The Act covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees.
Religious accommodation. Under the Act, 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 Act (TX Lab. Code Tit. 2 Sec. 21.119). BFOQ exceptions are narrowly interpreted and employers should use extreme ...