Gender Discrimination - Austin

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To discuss a gender discrimination claim against your employer, contact an Austin employment lawyer with our law firm. Gender discrimination in the workplace is a common complaint from both male and female employees. Gender discrimination occurs when the terms and conditions of employment are negatively impacted because of the gender of an employee. Gender discrimination claims are often not as simple as they may initially appear. Our employment lawyers understand and have experience with gender discrimination claims in Texas.

Common Types of Gender Discrimination Suffered by Austin Employees

There are three common forms of gender discrimination claims. One form of gender discrimination claims occurs when employees of one gender are treated differently than employees of the other gender. For example, it would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Labor Code to promote male employees over female employees simply based of gender. This is especially true when a female employee was clearly more qualified than the male employee that received the promotion.

Another form of gender discrimination is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is often defined as unwelcome sexual advances and/or comments that are severe and pervasive. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Labor Code prohibits employers from sexually harassing employee. However, an employer might not be automatically liable to an employee that has been sexually harassed by another employee. This is because the law may require the employee subjected to sexual harassment to have put the employer on notice prior to the employer becoming liable. This often becomes a complicated area of the law. Gender discrimination laws also cover same-sex sexual harassment. In fact, the United States Supreme Court has held that it is against the law for an employer to sexually harass an employee, even if the employee is the same sex as the harasser.

A more complicated form of gender discrimination has to do with gender stereotypes claims. It is against the law to discriminate against an employee who exhibits personality traits or characteristics that do not conform with traditional gender stereotypes. For example, it is against the law to terminate a female employee because she exhibits characteristics traditionally associated with male employees. In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, the Supreme Court clearly stated that it is unlawful gender discrimination to fail to promote a female employee because she exhibits masculine personality characteristics.

It can be difficult for an employee to succeed in claims for gender discrimination because a complaining employee normally has the burden to prove his or her case. To understand your rights, schedule a consultation with an Austin employment lawyer in our firm today.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Gender Stereotypes

Although sexual orientation discrimination is typically not against the law in Texas, there may be protections for employees suffering from sexual orientation discrimination. In a recent case, the Fifth Circuit ruled that it is against the law to discriminate against an employee because he or she does not fit with what is considered, by the employer, to be traditional gender stereotypes. For example, it would be against the law to terminate a male employee because the employer feels the employee has overly feminine traits. Although gender stereotype claims (actually protected under gender discrimination laws) are related to sexual orientation claims, there are key differences between the two forms of discrimination. It is important to understand the differences at an early stage. If you want to discuss a claim for sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination based on gender stereotypes, schedule a consultation with an Austin employment lawyer in our firm today.

Additionally, some Texas Cities (Austin, Dallas, Houston, Plano, and San Antonio) have passed ordinances prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination within the city limits. Although an employee may not have a private right of action under the city ordinance, they may still provide LGBT employees with some protection against discrimination in the workplace.

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Both federal and state laws prohibit many employers from discriminating against employees based on the employee’s pregnancy. Specifically, these laws limit an employer's ability to negatively impact the terms and conditions of an employment because the employee is pregnant or was previously pregnant. Contact an Austin employment lawyer with out firm to talk more about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

In addition to preventing pregnancy discrimination, the law also requires certain employers to provide employees with maternity leave or paternity leave. For example, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may require an employer to provide an employee with up to 12 weeks of maternity or paternity leave. In fact, this law often provides for maternity or paternity leave upon the adoption of a child. Feel free to schedule a consultation with an Austin employment lawyer in our firm to discuss your employment rights.

Worried about Workplace Retaliation?

Federal and state laws prohibit many employers from retaliating against an employee who complains about sexual harassment or gender discrimination. However, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Labor Code do not offer protections to all employees. For example, an employee is probably not protected from retaliation by only complaining about general harassment what is not related to a protected category (such as race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, etc). To better understand your rights when complaining about discrimination in the workplace, schedule a consultation with an Austin employment layer with Stacy Cole Law, P.C.

Schedule a Consultation with An Austin Employment Lawyer Today

If you would like to schedule a consultation with an Austin employment lawyer, contact our law firm today. Remember, there are often short deadlines when pursuing employment discrimination claims. If you do not bring your claim within the applicable time period, you may lose your right to pursue your case.

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