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How Texas cities are protecting LGBTQ workers

In Texas, if you lose your job because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, the city you live in can have a huge effect on your options. Neither federal nor Texas state laws explicitly make LGBTQ folks a protected class. If you were fired due to your race, religion or age, it would be much easier to challenge your termination in court.

For sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, however, the law is not as cut and dried. An individual court could rule in your favor, but this is not guaranteed. However, at the municipal level, some Texas cities have taken additional steps to protect LGBTQ members in the workplace.

City initiatives

Many of the state’s largest cities have paved the way for LGBTQ protections. San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and even the comparatively small city of Plano have all passed city ordinances that protect all members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination in:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Public spaces

Other cities—including Houston, El Paso, Arlington and Corpus Christi—have implemented regulations that protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination only if they are city employees. Some cities protect against sexual orientation discrimination but do not recognize discrimination based on gender identity.

In addition, there is a long list of Texas cities with no explicit LGBTQ protections at all.

Why it matters

Imagine being fired just for being yourself. In the state of Texas alone, it’s estimated that more than 400,000 LGBTQ workers lack protections from employment discrimination based on their identity. Workplace discrimination is something that no one should have to live with. It’s worth consulting with an employment law attorney about your legal recourse.

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