Older workers in Houston and across the U.S. are facing age discrimination while looking for employment, according to a report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Further, only 3 percent of those who experience such discrimination have made a formal complaint to a state or federal agency.
Creating lactation rooms, designating special parking spaces and offering flexible parental leave policies are among the steps some companies in Texas have taken to make working conditions easier for pregnant employees. Nevertheless, discrimination against women who are expecting or those who've recently returned to work following childbirth remains a widespread problem in the workplace. Several years of studies suggest that once this type of bias is triggered, it can be very significant and impactful.
Workers in the Houston area who are subject to bullying and harassment on the job can often feel confused and powerless in their workplaces. They may be unsure about what to do about the situation as any potential action could have unwanted consequences. Many workers remain silent about mistreatment by their managers or colleagues, hoping that the harassment will come to an end and that the perpetrators will lose interest. Others may file a complaint of some kind through an HR or grievance system, but they could be concerned about the potential for retaliation after taking action.
Obtaining employment in Texas is often difficult for veterans who have been discharged from the military for relatively minor offenses. A human rights commission in Connecticut warned employers in the state that they may be breaking anti-discrimination laws by actively selecting against this group of veterans. Members of the commission hope to spread the word about this type of discrimination to bigger employers throughout the nation.
If companies in Texas and throughout the country use social media to target younger job seekers, that could be a form of age discrimination. According to a claim by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), older workers missed out on job opportunities because they were not shown ads for those positions. Companies such as Amazon and T-Mobile were said to make use of Facebook's filtering tools to exclude older job seekers.
Despite the media attention paid to the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment on the job, many people may expect that women in the Houston area have few concerns about gender discrimination on the job. However, regardless of industry, workplace discrimination remains a serious problem, not only for women in high-profile industries like entertainment and politics, but for women in jobs of all types. One survey showed that while there have been some significant advances secured by women in the workplace, other factors have remained serious problems that have shown little improvement since 1999.
AT&T Mobility is one of many companies in Texas and throughout the country that uses a "no-fault" policy when it comes to attendance. Essentially, employees are given points for being late, leaving early or being absent from work on a given day. If an employee gets too many points, the company may decide to terminate that person. Two former employees say that the system used by AT&T Mobility was discriminatory.
While both men and women in Texas and throughout the country deal with age discrimination, women may be more likely to be impacted by it. This is because physical appearance may matter more for females than male workers, and getting older may make a woman seem less attractive. Although there may be little people can do about their looks, there are ways that older workers can add value in the workplace.
Sexual harassment can be a problem for companies throughout Texas and the rest of the nation. At Nike, women have raised complaints about managers who have called employees names or made comments about their breasts. A survey was conducted that eventually made its way to the CEO and resulted in the resignation of six executives. One of the reasons why the harassment at Nike occurred was that most of the incidents are referred to as hard cases.
Employers in Texas and throughout the nation must generally refrain from treating workers differently based on their religion, gender or other protected attributes. A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader claims that the team did treat her differently based on her religious beliefs. She also alleged that the cheerleaders were treated differently than the players in a variety of ways. The woman was a member of the team's cheerleading squad for three years ending in 2017.