Can a School Fire You for Being LGBT in Houston, Texas?
Believe it or not, a majority of the states still have no laws protecting LGBT members from discrimination in the workplace. Sadly, Texas is one of them. While some bills have been passed in the last few years that protect some LGBT rights, there is still no widespread protection in Texas.
This means that, legally, you can still be fired for being gay or transgender in Texas. Despite many promises from the current administration in Washington, there have been no sweeping measures to protect members of the LGBT community.
There are a handful of cities in Texas that have passed local ordinances making it illegal for private employers to discriminate against the LGBT. Some of these cities include Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. Unfortunately, Houston is not on this list.
The good news is that, while Texas doesn’t provide any legal protection for LGBT, the federal government does. This means that your Houston LGBT attorney can seek protection for you under these federal laws.
The Supreme Court Has Decided Many Cases Involving Discrimination and Gender Stereotypes
The Supreme Court has been hearing discrimination cases on behalf of the LGBT community for several years. As far back as 1998, in Price Waterhouse v Hopkins, the Supreme Court held that a female manager had been illegally discriminated against because she didn’t fit the typical gender stereotype.
Dozens of similar cases have followed. In fact, in 2008, the Federal Court in Texas decided Lopez v River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic Group, in which they held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects members of the LGBT community.
In Lopez, the Court held that a company can’t refuse to hire or promote someone based on the fact that they don’t present themselves in a manner consistent with their gender. Following these cases, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has changed their rules to protect LGBT people even more.
Your Houston LGBT lawyer is well versed in these cases as well as the EEOC rules. They will utilize these protections to get you the justice you deserve.
LGBT Protection Under the EEOC
The EEOC outlines at least eight (8) separate and distinct protections for people who are gay or transgender. If you believe your employer (or a potential employer) has violated any of these rules, your Houston LGBT lawyer can file a grievance or complaint.
Some of the protections afforded by the EEOC include:
- A company can’t refuse to hire someone because they’re transgender
- Your employer cannot fire you because you intend on making (or plan to make) a gender transition
- Your employer can’t deny a transgender person access to a common restroom based on their apparent gender
- No employer or their agents are allowed to harass someone based on their being transgender
- They cannot deny someone a promotion based on whether they’re gay or straight
- Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate against a member of the LGBT community by doing the following:
- Paying a lower salary than your straight counterpart
- Refuse to offer health insurance to your same-sex spouse
- Companies cannot harass someone because of their sexual orientation
- Discriminating on the basis of LGBT status in any other way
If you feel you’ve been a victim of any of these EEOC violations, you should speak with an experienced Houston LGBT lawyer right away. They can help you file a complaint against your employer. They can even assist you in filing a lawsuit if need be.
What Kind of Damages Can Your LGBT Lawyer in Houston Demand?
If you believe you’ve been discriminated against by your employer for being LGBT, you may need to file a lawsuit. Your Houston LGBT lawyer will help you determine what types of damages you want to demand.
You have to keep in mind – you can only demand damages that you’ve actually suffered. So, if you feel your employer has discriminated against you but cannot show any losses, you may not be entitled to compensation.
Your lawyer can demand damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress. So, even if you haven’t suffered financial losses, you may still be entitled to damages for emotional distress. This will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
Contact an LGBT Lawyer in Houston Today to Discuss Your Rights
If you’ve been discriminated against at work, you need to call an LGBT lawyer in Houston. Sit down with an experienced lawyer who can go over your rights. They’ll review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.
Call Eddington & Worley and schedule your initial consultation today. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.
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