Retaliation For Reporting Or Opposing Discrimination
Employees in Texas are protected against retaliation by an employer for reporting or opposing discrimination in the workplace by state and federal laws. These laws include:
- Texas Labor Code Chapter 21
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Many employees misunderstand the range of these protections due to the state’s “at will” employment status. However, all public sector employees in the state are protected under these acts as are private sector employees working in companies with 15 or more employees. In most instances, an employment contract is not necessary to be protected from retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination.
Yet, to ensure success and be assured that your case is presented credibly with the intended result to end retaliation at the workplace, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel experienced in state and federal labor and discrimination law.
Requirements for Retaliation Complaints
To file a credible retaliation discrimination complaint, the claim must demonstrate:
- That the employee was engaged in a protected activity
- That the employer took adverse action
- That a connection between the protected activity and the adverse action exists or did exist
Complaints must be filed with the EEOC or TWC within 180 days (state law) or 300 days (federal law) of the harassment.
Protected activities can include submitting, assisting or participating in the investigation of employment discrimination complaints based upon:
- National Origin
Employer Adverse Actions
Adverse actions by an employer can include a host of malicious activities including:
- Refusal to hire
- Denial of promotion
- Unjustified negative evaluations
- Increase surveillance
- Causal connections
- Denial of overtime
Again, the employee must prove a connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.
Filing Retaliation Claims in Texas
Complaints of retaliation for reporting or opposing workplace discrimination should be filed with either the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission.
Claimants must present credible, substantiated reports. The more detailed and consistent the complaint, the greater the chance of success will be. The Fort Worth law firm of Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC, specializes in employment law including matters related to workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
If these claims are not filed in a timely manner and if they are not accurate and concise, the chance of success will diminish accordingly.
Retaliation Complaint Format
Claimants must agree to actively participate in the inquiry and investigative process. If the employer is in the private sector, the company must have a minimum of 15 employees. The following information must be included in the formal complaint:
- Employee’s full name, home address and home telephone number
- The legal company name, physical address where the employee worked and office telephone number
- The full name, address and telephone number for the Human Resources Director
- Statement that the company employs 15 or more workers
- State whether the act of discrimination pertains to race, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability
- A description of the adverse action
Experienced attorneys can guide claimants through the filing process and provide the best chance for success.
If the employee’s claim prevails and the claim meets the statute of limitation threshold, state and federal laws provide a number of legal remedies, including:
- Back Pay
- Back benefits
- Future pay
- Future benefits
- Actual damages
- Punitive damages
- Reasonable attorney fees
- Court costs
If you decide to pursue this path, retain legal counsel. Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC, can review your complaint and advise you as to how to proceed. Call 817-820-0100 to schedule a free, timely and confidential review of your complaint against retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination in Texas workplaces.