Racial Discrimination

Federal laws and most state laws prohibit discrimination pertaining to virtually all aspects of the relationship between employers and employees. For example, discrimination is illegal in the process of hiring, firing and determining which employees will be promoted or given a pay raise. Other aspects of the employment relationship such as job training and day-to-day supervision are also subject to employment discrimination laws. Employees should be treated equal in every respect. No employer should require an employee to take drug tests on the basis of their race. An employer who retaliates against an employee following the employee's reporting of discrimination may face severe consequences under applicable Texas law.

Employment criteria for hiring and/or policies which appear to be racially neutral are considered discriminatory if the result of the enforcement has a disproportionate impact on members of a particular race or a class of persons of a particular national origin. Just one example of this, would be a height requirement which results in a disproportionate number of members of a certain race being excluded. An employer is required to show that a legitimate and important reason exists for the policy.

Additionally, an employer may not discriminate on the basis of a person's birthplace, ancestry, or culture. Employers who refuse to hire applicants with Arab, Hispanic, or other ethnically identifiable names have discriminated on the basis of ethnicity or national origin. Race discrimination and national origin discrimination sometimes occurs as a result of stereotyped thinking by supervisors, managers, or company owners. They have misguided perspectives causing them to apply prejudice behavior upon individuals seeking employment and advancement in the workplace. If an employer requires only English be spoken at work, the employer must explain specifically when English must be spoken to the employees. Furthermore, the employer must show that this rule is necessary to the operation of the business. Rules which prohibit employees from speaking other languages during breaks or at times when it has no impact on the performance of the job, is likely to be construed as an excessive rule and possibly discriminatory.

Discrimination and any related harassment on the basis of race or national origin is illegal according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The employer should not allow a hostile environment which is offensive to the employee or which interferes with an employee's work. Typically, jokes with racial overtones targeted against a particular ethnic group and other types of racial slurs consistently occurring in the workplace, including audio and visual distasteful content, are interpreted as ingredients which cause a hostile environment. See The Texas Statutes On Employment Law.

If you are exposed to discriminatory practices at work, you should contact a competent employment attorney immediately. Unfortunately, discriminatory practices are sometimes brutally obvious. For example, if a supervisor specifically states that he or she will never hire a member of a certain race, this is clearly a discriminatory practice. However in other instances, it is not as readily obvious, it may be difficult for an employee to prove that a discriminatory practice exists. In either event, the employee should begin taking notes and recording each and every incident that is offensive in nature. The employee should keep track of decisions that are made that are suspect to discriminatory practice. Specific dates should be recorded in the employee's records. Specific names and places of the employees who are perpetrating the discriminatory action, are witnesses of the discriminatory actions, or are the recipients of the hostile treatment should also be carefully noted in your records for future reference.

Your management should always be contacted in accordance with company policies and if your company has a human resources department there are typically designated individuals who should receive complaints of this nature. You should always raise your concerns and ask the company to investigate these types of issues after they occur. Never hesitate to call experienced legal counsel to learn how to assert your equal opportunity rights. The employee must first file a claim with the EEOC before they can file a lawsuit. After filing a claim with the EEOC, you may need to pursue a lawsuit to completely resolve your charge of discrimination. Often times, a resolution to the discrimination charge can be obtained without a trial.

Do I Have A Racial Discrimination Case in Texas?

Discrimination Information Center

Marquis Who's Who in America 2007


4635 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77027
Tel: (713) 893-0022

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 20545
Houston, Texas 77025