May 2017 Archives

Landmark ruling in transgender discrimination case

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers in Texas and around the country from discriminating against workers because of physical or mental impairments that limit one or more of their major life functions. However, the 1990 law specifically excludes certain conditions. Those that are related to illegal or harmful activities like drug use, gambling and arson are not covered by the law, and neither are conditions that deal with sexual orientation and identity.

Most physicians who are mothers report work discrimination

Houston-area doctors who are also mothers may have experienced discrimination in the workplace according to a report in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The survey asked members of a group called the Physicians Moms Group, which has nearly 70,000 members, about their work experiences. Just under 6,000 women participated, and almost 80 percent said they had experienced some type of discrimination at work.

Companies dig up dirt to fight discrimination claims

Texas employers confronted by claims of workplace discrimination or wrongful termination sometimes look for evidence of an employee's misconduct on the job to fight the allegations. This defense applies what is called after-acquired evidence. A company fighting a lawsuit could look for this type of evidence to justify the firing of an individual regardless of whether the plaintiff proves discrimination. Examples of misconduct could be fraud or poor job performance.

Courts disagree over basing pay on salary history

While many Texas residents will have been asked about their salary histories on job applications, few may know that the courts have been unable to agree on whether or not companies can rely on this information alone to set pay. The 10th and 11th Circuits have ruled that employers should weigh other considerations when making these decisions, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has bucked this trend. The court ruled on April 27 that a California county did nothing wrong when it decided to pay a math consultant less than her male colleagues simply because she had earned less than them in the past.

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