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Texas Employment Lawsuits Allege Discrimination

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Fort Worth, TXRegardless of what state a person lives in, there are certain rights that are granted to all employees across the US. Those rights include the right not to be discriminated against based on certain characteristics. Some Texas employment lawsuits, however, allege discrimination and violations of federal and/or Texas labor law. Employees have the right to file a lawsuit to protect their rights when federal labor law or Texas employment law are violated.

One Texas employment lawsuit was filed against Farmers Insurance Exchange, alleging the plaintiff, Judy N. Pree, was subjected to age discrimination and eventually fired from her job. According to The Southeast Texas Record (11/17/10), Pree alleges the harassment started in 2009, when employees who were eligible for retirement were told they should retire. Following that, Pree says she was prevented from taking certification tests.

Although she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pree was eventually fired from her position. Her lawsuit claims Farmers Insurance Exchange violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Pree seeks damages for back pay and reinstatement to her former position and pay grade.

Meanwhile, a racial discrimination lawsuit has been filed against Denison Industries. The plaintiff, Frederick Keith Stubblefield, alleges in his lawsuit that he was subjected to racial jokes and demeaned in front of other employees. The Southeast Texas Record (11/18/10) reports further allegations that Stubblefield's personnel information and employment details were shared with co-workers.

Stubblefield reportedly resigned from his position as an auditor in shipping and receiving because of the alleged discrimination. His lawsuit seeks actual damages, punitive damages and court costs.

Age and race are two characteristics protected under various employment laws, meaning employees or potential employees cannot be discriminated against based on those two characteristics. Federal employment discrimination laws that protect employees include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Furthermore, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits discrimination.

Discrimination includes failing to promote a deserving individual, failing to hire a qualified individual, paying an employee less than other similarly situated employees, telling inappropriate jokes and making discriminatory comments based on a person's age or race. Any activity that subjects an employee to unfavorable or unfair treatment due to legally protected characteristics, including race, religion or age, is considered discrimination. To be considered discrimination, however, the activity must be based on those characteristics. An older employee who is passed over for a promotion because of job performance is not necessarily the victim of age discrimination. To be age discrimination, the refusal to promote must be because of the victim's age.

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READER COMMENTS

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Hispanic employees were conversing in Spanish in the lounge at work, and one employee in an adjacent room alleged that they were talking about her and that they called her a bad name. Their employer called them into her office and asked them about the allegations. All denied the allegations, and were subsequently told they were not to speak Spanish amongst themselves ever again in the workplace. I this legal?

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