Many cities in Texas have passed ordinances that prohibit discrimination by employers on the basis of sexual orientation. These communities realize that there is significant competition for business with several other cities across the country that already have these protections in place. If these cities had failed to act, many businesses would simply bypass the region, depriving local communities of the jobs and other benefits that these organizations provide.
Houston, however, had no such law in place, until very recently. The city council passed a measure that prohibited discrimination of gay and transgender individuals by private businesses or by workplaces within the city. This new law allows these individuals the same benefits that other workers have, and comes on the heels of a new federal directive that prohibits LBGT discrimination by federal contractors.
These new protections may allow gay and transgender individuals to bring claims against their employers if they believe they have been discriminated against in the workplace. These cases can be very difficult to prove, and will often require a comprehensive investigation of all of the available facts. The person must be part of a protected class, and then must demonstrate that discrimination occurred. This means that it is not enough to show that the individual is gay or transgender; these individuals must also show that the company treated them differently, leading to negative results.
The employee's record will also be checked to see if there are any other reasons why the adverse employment action happened. If there are any potential areas of concern, it could potentially jeopardize the case. It will then require a review of the rest of the employees at the company to determine if others similarly situated were treated differently by the employer.
Because of the in-depth investigation that these cases often require, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace. Your attorney can immediately begin collecting the information that is needed to support your claims.
Many companies will aggressively challenge these lawsuits, and you need to be sure that you have someone fighting for you. These organizations will be reluctant to turn over any evidence in your case, and it might be necessary to take these matters inside the courtroom. It is essential that you work with someone that knows how these cases should be handled, so that you are able to present your side of the story.