Texas is an “at-will” employment state. In easy words, this means that your employer can fire you anytime they want, even when they don’t have a reason. However, as an employee, you have your rights. Both federal and Texas state laws prohibit discrimination at the workplace on grounds like race, religion, nationality, gender, color, and sex. You could potentially sue your employer when you have been fired because of such grounds. If your termination is a clear violation of the employment contract, you may still have a valid case. It is absolutely important to contact a reliable employment discrimination attorney in Austin to get a fair assessment in such circumstances.
What to do after facing discrimination at work?
If you believe that you are a victim of discrimination at the workplace because of any of the grounds mentioned above, you must seek legal advice. You cannot just sue your employer right away. There are basic steps to be followed. Before anything else, file a complaint with your company in writing. In the ideal world, you would expect the employer to take action. If that doesn’t happen, you can file an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The concerned agency will investigate the case of discrimination. You don’t have to file a complaint with both agencies. If you choose to file with EEOC, you don’t need to file a separate complaint with TWC.
Deadline for filing a complaint
If you decide to file the complaint with the TWC, you have 180 days to do so as per the state laws. If you want to file a complaint related to the discrimination charge with the EEOC, the deadline is 300 days. The clock starts counting from the day when the discrimination happened.
The ‘Right to Sue’ Letter
If the agency declines to take action, they will issue a ‘Right to Sue’ Letter. If you want to sue your employer, you have 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. The deadline for filing a lawsuit as per state laws may vary. If you received the ‘Right to Sue’ Letter from the Texas Workforce Commission, you have to file the discrimination lawsuit within 60 days (or within two years from the date you filed the charge of discrimination, whichever is sooner).
You probably have many questions about employment discrimination lawsuits at this point. Consider talking to an attorney to know your rights and protect your interests.