Austin Gender Discrimination Lawyers
The line between sex and gender is often challenging to understand or differentiate. According to scientists, sex is an individual’s biological identity while gender classifies the cultural association of maleness or femaleness. Discrimination based on either a person’s gender or sex is illegal in the entire employment process. Additionally, all genders in the community can be victims and are under legal protection. At The Melton Law Firm, our Austin gender discrimination attorneys work to resolve any gender intolerance in a work environment.
Gender discrimination is a gender-biased action, including decisions about hiring, promotions, pay, and job titles. Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 makes gender discrimination illegal and applies to all state and local governmental entities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the laws that protect Americans from discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically protects people from gender discrimination as well.
Why You Need an Attorney
Filing a precise, complete and forceful complaint is important, which is why you want to work with an experienced and skilled Austin gender discrimination lawyer. Employment law is nuanced and detailed, so having capable advocates like The Melton Law Firm in your corner is important. An inadequate complaint filing will be quickly dismissed by TWC. If the complaint goes forward, the TWC will make an offer of mediation, where both parties discuss their issues with a neutral mediator. This is another opportunity for an experienced lawyer who knows the system to make your case and get you the results you desire. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, the TWC investigates the complaint, reviews applicable state laws and makes a determination of whether discrimination has occurred.
Why Choose Us
Austin-based attorney John F. Melton has helped hundreds of Texas workers fight for their legal rights. For over 10 years, he has been Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law in Texas. Mr. Melton has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2011, an honor presented to the top 5% of attorneys in the Lone Star State. He is also a Fellow Member of the Texas Bar Foundation, an honor given to the top 1% of legal practitioners.
Mr. Melton attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with his B.A. in 1996. He earned his J.D. in 1999 from the University of San Diego School of Law. He then moved back to Austin and received his license to practice law in 1999. Mr. Melton is licensed to practice in the State of Texas by the Texas Supreme Court, the Western District of Texas, the Southern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Texas, and before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS).
Throughout his two decades of practicing law, Mr. Melton has worked tirelessly on behalf of employees in a wide range of circumstances, including gender discrimination. Mr. Melton takes great pride in helping workers who have been mistreated by their employers seek the justice and compensation they need and deserve. He has assisted clients in getting verdicts totaling in the millions of dollars in a wide variety of employment law cases, such race, gender, and age discrimination lawsuits, sexual harassment claims, retaliation claims, and more. The Melton Law Firm is well-equipped to handle whatever challenges your gender discrimination case may present. Allow us to help you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Cases We Handle
Employers who discriminate against employees may be held liable for lost wages and compensatory damages. The Melton Law Firm handles the following cases for clients:
- Discrimination based on Sex, Race, Color, Religion, or National Origin
- Disability Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment
Do you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal rights, contact the experienced discrimination attorneys at The Melton Law Firm by calling (512) 330-0017.
Title VII – Gender Discrimination Law
Oftentimes it is difficult for someone to identify gender discrimination in the workplace and so it goes unreported or overlooked. Constant harassment, stereotyping, or unfair limitations can be extremely difficult for victims to handle and can affect their work performance in a detrimental way. Paying attention to the behavior of an employer and of co-workers is essential in creating a comfortable and professional atmosphere. It is important to know what an employer can and cannot do to an employee. Under Title VII, an employer cannot:
- Fail to hire or fire an individual based on gender
- Use gender as a way to deprive any employee of opportunities in their position
- Use sexual stereotypes in advertisements
It is also important to note that Title VII makes sexual harassment illegal as a form of gender discrimination. The things we have outlined on this page do not qualify as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a type of contact characterized by behaviors that create a hostile work environment. Check out our other practice areas to learn more about sexual harassment.
Filing a harassment claim in Texas
The Texas Workforce Commission has a claim process for employees or job applicants who feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, age, color, national origin, sex, disability or for retaliation for a previous claim.
To submit an employment discrimination complaint, all of the following requirements must be met:
- The physical address you worked at must be in Texas.
- The company must have at least 15 employees.
- The discrimination must have occurred within the last 180 days from the date you are submitting the complaint.
- Your discrimination allegation must specify one or more of the following types: race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, or disability.
- Your complaint must identify employment harm such as demotion, denial of promotion, or termination.
- The complaint can be filed by postal mail, email, or in person at the appropriate TWC office.
A discrimination complaint must include each of the following: Your full name, home address, and home telephone number, and the official company name, physical address where you worked for the employer and office telephone number. Include the Human Resources Supervisor/Director’s full name, address, and telephone number. The number of employees in the company at all work sites. The company must have 15 or more employees to file a discrimination complaint. Indicate whether your treatment was because of your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability, and give a description of the employment harm such as demotion, denied hire, termination, denied benefits, etc.
If your address or phone number change during an investigation, you must notify your investigator immediately. Full cooperation of the complainant is very important during the processing of your complaint, and failure to cooperate may result in a dismissal of your complaint.
The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 says the 180-day clock for filing an employment discrimination complaint accrues anew with each discriminatory paycheck. The Act was intended to increase voluntary compliance by employers. This is achieved because employers know they will continue to be responsible for discrimination as it accrues through successive 180-day windows for filing a complaint. The Act also recognizes that employees may not know that pay discrimination exists in their company and can be compounded by raises, pensions, and other contributions over time, and allows employees to challenge employment practices.
Texas in the #MeToo era: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Texas is a conservative and pro-business state, and the advent of the #MeToo movement elsewhere was not reflected in the Lone Star State. The 2019-2020 legislative session saw eight bills introduced dealing with sexual harassment, including sexual harassment in the workplace. Pushback from the business lobby meant none of the bills advanced to the House floor.
Sexual harassment is frequently divided into two general categories: quid pro quo, where the supervisor or manager requires sexual favors in exchange for preferential treatment, including extra work shifts, time off from work, promotion and raises and/or bonuses. The other category is “hostile work environment,” defined as inappropriate behavior by any individual in the organization, including unwanted physical contact, degrading remarks, inappropriate and personal questions, lewd and explicit conversations and other uncomfortable behavior. The employer may be found to be liable for the behavior of an employee’s supervisor, leading to damages and other sanctions.
LGBTQ legal and legislative issues in Texas
While LGBTQ discrimination is an increasingly high-profile issue nationally, once again Texas is willfully behind the times. Indeed, the only legal advances regarding LGBTQ protections is the increased protection for those who want to discriminate against LGBTQ people without consequences. Senate Bill 17 passed the Senate and is in a House Committee awaiting passage when the legislative session resumes. The bill frames the issue as one of “religious liberty,” wherein businesses can refuse service to LGBTQ people because it offends their religious beliefs and they cannot be accused of discriminatory behavior.
Texas does have a hate crime statute that strengthens penalties for certain crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation, although it has never been invoked. However, gender identity is not included in the hate crime law. If someone is harassed or attacked because someone is offended by how they dress or look or behave, there is not currently a specific legal remedy available to LGBTQ population, because there is no statewide law banning anti-LGBT discrimination.
Consult with an Austin Gender Discrimination Attorney
Dealing with gender discrimination can be frustrating for the victim and toxic for a work environment. Victims of gender discrimination can receive compensation for their emotional pain and suffering. Even in legal areas where Texas law does not firmly support gender discrimination remedies for workplace sexual harassment of LGBTQ harassment and discrimination, there are strategies we can employ to get you damages and compensation for pain and suffering.
We have operated successfully in Texas for many years, and we know how to use the system to protect all Texas citizens. Our gender discrimination attorneys will work closely with you to ensure your voice is heard and those who would harass or harm you face consequences for their behavior. The road to justice starts with a consultation, where we listen closely to your story and start to develop a strategy. From there, we may develop a strong claim and file it with TWC or choose another tactic. Allowing us to hear your story is an important first step.
At The Melton Law Firm, our Austin gender discrimination attorneys know how to fight against inequality to compensate for the damages you may have suffered. We understand that gender discrimination is all too common, and we will do all we can to help fight against the crime. Please contact our Austin offices at The Melton Law Firm by calling (512) 330-0017.