Frequently Asked Questions
What rights do I have as a worker in Texas?
Unless you have an employment contract for a specific period of time, you are considered an “at will” employee. This means that your employer can terminate you for any reason, or even no reason at all, as long as the reason does not violate a specific law (e.g., an anti-discrimination law)
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is more than being treated unfairly. Discrimination means your employer is treating you differently or more harshly due to certain characteristics you possess. These characteristics that are covered under discrimination laws includes: age (40 and older), race, national origin, gender (female or male); pregnancy; sexual harassment; disability, and religion.
What if I and others with the same characteristics are terminated due to a policy or practice of my employer? Is that discrimination?
Perhaps. This type of discrimination is called a “disparate impact” claim. In these cases, employees do not need to prove that an employer intended to discriminate against a certain group, but that its action had a disproportionately negative impact on a large group of individuals in the same protected class (that is, people with the same characteristics). For example, an employer may have a minimum height requirement without showing it is job required. This requirement may thereby exclude a large percentage of applicants who are female, or applicants from certain minority groups. Another example may be Spanish speaking requirements that exclude Anglo and African-American applicants. Finally, this type of discrimination may apply to some layoffs that disproportionately affect older employees.