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Racial Discrimination

Differences between racial discrimination claims under Title VII and Section 1981

Employment discrimination claims under Texas and federal law often require sorting through a web of statutory and administrative requirements. Many employment laws overlap. A set of facts of a Dallas or Fort Worth employee may provide several claims for employment discrimination due to the overlap. Maneuvering the overlap and setting up an employee for the best employment discrimination claims is an important part of a Fort Worth and Dallas employment lawyer's work. One type of employment discrimination with a high degree of overlap is racial discrimination. Race-based discrimination is prohibited under both federal and Texas law. (Sometimes local law as...

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Are EEOC complaints confidential?

Employees suffering employment discrimination often worry about the effects of reporting employment discrimination to the EEOC. This is especially true for employees who still work at the job where discrimination occurs. Retaliation for complaining about employment discrimination is a real and serious concern. This concern may lead workers to not contact the EEOC or an employment lawyer in Dallas or Fort Worth who can investigate and take action to protect the employee from employment discrimination and retaliation. Today's post discusses how information shared with the EEOC (or the Texas Workforce Commission) is protected and what is shared with the employer. Initial...

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EEOC mediation and lawsuit settlement amounts in Dallas and Fort Worth

EEOC mediations and lawsuits often end in settlement of claims for employment discrimination in Dallas and Fort Worth, including wrongful termination. An important question for many employees filing employment discrimination claims with the EEOC is what they can expect in a settlement. Many employment discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC in Dallas settle either in mediation with the EEOC or after filing a lawsuit but before trial. Settlements at these two stages happen at critically different stages of an employment discrimination claim so their settlement values are, collectively, different. We will discuss the average EEOC mediation or lawsuit settlement averages...

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Pleading standards, Texas agencies and employment discrimination claims

Employment discrimination claims are highly technical at every stage of litigation. Federal law over the past fifteen years has laid out specific pleading standards for these claims that require significant detail in the original complaint to avoid a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (brought under Rule 12(b)(6) of the federal rules). State law in Texas tends to be less rigid, applying the fair notice standard, as opposed to the federal plausibility standard. Rule 91a Motions to Dismiss in Texas Wrongful Termination and Other Employment Discrimination Lawsuits In Texas we now have Rule 91a (state rule) that gives defendants...

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What is the statute of limitations to sue an employer?

In Texas an employment lawsuit may arise under a combination of federal, state and local laws. This is true whether the lawsuit is for wrongful discharge, pay or benefits issues, discrimination, FMLA, or other employment claims. All forms of employment claims carry a limitations period. The statute of limitations is not universal for each of these claims. Technical procedural rules may determine the calculation of the statute of limitations to a particular employment claim. The best thing to do if you believe you have an employment claim is to contact an employment lawyer. Today's post will discuss some of the limitations periods for common employment claims. Wage/Pay/Compensation...

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Can you count on the EEOC to file a lawsuit for you?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2014 performance report recently with some disappointing results about how charges of discrimination (the employment discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC) resolve. Of the 88,778 private sector charges filed the EEOC "resolved" 87,442 of those charges. That does not mean a favorable result occurred for the charging party. It just means the EEOC decided whether there was probable cause to say unlawful discrimination occurred. Out of the 87,442 charges resolved, the EEOC mediated 10,221 charges and resolved 7,846 by mediation. However, just 133 charges resulted in litigation filed by the EEOC with 105 of those...

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Should I talk to an attorney before I go to the EEOC?

If you believe you are the victim of employment discrimination then in most cases you need to file a complaint with the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division. This complaint is known as a charge of discrimination. A charge of discrimination invokes the agency's power to investigate your claims. If they find probable cause the agency may assist you with asserting your rights against the employer. Should I hire a Fort Worth or Dallas employment attorney first? People considering filing a charge of discrimination often wonder whether they should talk to an employment attorney before talking to the EEOC or TWC....

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Constructive Discharge and Supervisor Conduct in Texas

When an employee claims an employer created a hostile work environment that resulted in a prohibited form of unlawful employment discrimination the employee must prove, among other things, that the employee suffered an adverse employment action. It is not enough that the employer was hostile towards the employee or that the employee found the workplace unpleasant. The employee must show the employer took some action that was adverse to the employee's continued employment. (The standard is somewhat different in hostile work environment claims where the employee claims co-workers harassed the employee.) Constructive discharge in hostile work environment claims in Texas Sometimes, however, the...

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Vocal Fry makes women less hirable. Is that employment discrimination?

A round of news articles published last week regarding a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University regarding what is called "vocal fry" and how it affects the perception of women in the employment context. If you're not familiar with the term vocal fry, it's the speech pattern by some women in which they talk in a higher pitched voice and then drop into a creaky low pitch at the end of sentences. Many stories attribute this speech pattern to Kim Kardashian; but I remember this being a thing we attributed to "valley girl". I think this predates the rise of reality TV by...

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Halloween in the workplace? Keep yourself out of trouble.

It's that time of year where employers throw Halloween parties and accept employees wearing Halloween costumes in the workplace. Halloween is a fun way to play dress up and pretend; but it's also a really good way to create lasting problems in the workplace. Attorney Robin Shea writes about Halloween-related employment problems from the employer's perspective in her excellent Employment & Labor Insider blog. I thought it might be a good idea to write on the same subject from the employee's perspective. The obvious issue for Halloween is the costume selection of employees who choose to wear costumes and that will...

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