Let's say you show up to work one day and you see a notice for a new supervisory position that is available. You're a woman, and you know that all the other competitors for the job will be men. However, you also know that you're more experienced, better educated and better capable of carrying out the responsibilities.
Gender discrimination has been outlawed in this country since 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or employment applicants on the basis of their gender. Nonetheless, unfortunately, employers here in San Antonio do sometimes allow gender discrimination to occur. Common types of illegal gender discrimination in the workplace include sexual harassment and paying women less than their male counterparts, or passing women up for promotions.
The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to enact policies of rules that harm the "terms, conditions, or privileges" of an employee based on a number of outside factors. Gender is one of these factors, which makes it so surprising that a Texas firm had a stringent policy that forbade employees from intermingling with employees of the opposite gender -- both while at work and outside of work.
A Texas woman says that the law firm where she is a partner discriminated against women through a no-fraternization policy that prohibited men and women from working alone together and from socializing outside of the office. This resulted in professional disadvantages for the women at the firm, who were isolated.
A former track and field coach at the University of Texas says that the athletic department discriminated against her because of her gender and her race.
As we have reported many times in the past, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees who need to take unpaid time off from work for medical reasons or to care for a family member. Although this law has been in place for more than 20 years, it does not stop some employers from retaliating against an employee for exercising their FMLA rights. At least that is the claim of an assembly worker who claims she was wrongfully terminated from her job at Peterbilt simply for taking time off for maternity leave.
A state representative from San Antonio has introduced a bill into the Texas house of representatives that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill would make Texas one of the new states to recognize this type of discrimination specifically and establish a protected class for employees with nonconforming gender identities. This is the sixth time that the representative has introduced this measure, and this time he believes that the chances of passage are higher than ever. This session a companion bill was also introduced to the state senate.
Many Texas readers are probably aware that pregnancy discrimination is still a major problem in this country despite the significant gains made in legal protections for pregnant employees. What many people do not know is that the discrimination often does not end when the employee returns to work, and that discrimination against employees who have significant parental responsibilities.
A former senior account manager for the NBA says that the basketball league discriminates against women with children. She filed suit in federal court recently asking for unspecified damages to compensate her for lost income after she was forced to quit her job at the NBA.