Employers in Texas and throughout the country are not allowed to terminate employers based on their race, gender or skin color. Furthermore, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also prevents employers from terminating workers based on their sexual orientation or gender. However, this doesn’t mean that employees have an easy time proving discrimination when it happens. In some cases, workers are forced to sign away their right to take legal action as a condition of receiving a severance package.
Considering that a case could take years to resolve, not taking the severance package may lead to major financial issues. Furthermore, employers could require new employees to sign agreements that discrimination cases will be decided in arbitration as opposed to in court. Employees of companies that have fewer than 15 employees may not be protected under Title VII, and it is possible that state law won’t help them either.
Proving a case can be difficult if an employer doesn’t literally say that the termination was retaliatory or based on a protected attribute. The first step is a complaint to the EEOC, and that can take up to a year to process before the case gets to court. If it does get to court, an employee might face the prospect that the case is dismissed or settled out of court.
Workers who are terminated because of their race, sexual orientation or other protected attributes are victims of employment law violations. A victim could benefit from contacting an attorney who will review the case. Legal counsel may determine if a case should be settled through a formal trial or resolved outside of court. If successful, workers could be entitled to back pay plus interest in addition to punitive damages.