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City of Austin employee sues for gender discrimination

Austin Watershed Protection Department Managing Engineer Mapi Vigil, who worked for the City of Austin for close to 30 years, sued the city for gender discrimination. The lawsuit came after Vigil applied for an assistant director position but was passed over for a male candidate, despite her high performance reviews and years of loyalty.

Vigil filed an internal grievance with the city’s human resources department to complain about the promotion of a less-qualified male candidate. However, the grievance officer denied her complaint. Her supervisor then gave her a two-day suspension, threatened to fire her, and slapped her with a written reprimand for being disrespectful. After HR opened an investigation into allegations of unprofessional conduct made by her supervisor but ignored Vigil’s recording of her conservation with the supervisor, she filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Vigil’s case ended up going to court, where a grand jury awarded her $751,000 in compensation for the retaliation she faced.

You can hold your employers accountable for their unfair actions toward you by filing an employment lawsuit against them with the legal help of the attorneys at The Melton Law Firm. Call our Austin offices today to learn more at (512) 330-0017.

Texas nondiscrimination laws reach 12 cities

As of Monday, June 6, Texas has 12 cities with populations of more than 100,000 that have instituted legislation that establishes protection for residents or city employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The newest addition to this list is the city of Mesquite.

For more than ten years, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin have held ordinances that protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual community from discrimination in employment, housing choices, and public spaces like restaurants and public transportation. Of Texas’ major cities, it is Houston that does not want to budge. On November 3, 2015, 61% of voters in Houston voted against a measure that established discrimination protection for LGBT residents. LGBT employees in Houston are now protected by a nondiscrimination measure only via an executive order. Fort Worth was the first city in Texas to institute protection for all individuals based on sexual orientation in 2000, which it expanded to include gender identity in 2009.

If you have faced discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, the attorneys at The Melton Law Firm may be able to help you receive compensation. Contact us at (512) 330-0017 to discuss your personal situation.

Austin workplace discrimination lawsuits and women

A group of Austin women recently attempted to determine if female employees in the city file more workplace discrimination lawsuits than men, so they filed an open records request earlier this year to find out. Their efforts attracted the attention of Council Member Kathie Tovo, who then became involved in the group’s efforts. In October, Tovo received a memo from Human Resources with answers to some of these women’s questions.

The memo revealed that women who work for the city of Austin file up to three times more complaints based on gender discrimination than men in city positions do. Of all of the complaints filed against coworkers in city jobs, 57 percent were lodged against men.


Specifically, 162 employment complaints have been filed against the city of Austin either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Texas Commission on Human Rights within a five-year period beginning in 2010; thirty-seven of those complaints have involved gender discrimination, eighty-four have involved retaliation in addition to discrimination, and thirty-nine have involved harassment of some sort.

At The Melton Law Firm, our attorneys represent employees who have been wronged by their employers or coworkers. To discuss your situation with one of our Austin employment lawyers, call (512) 330-0017 today.

Gender Discrimination Suit Filed Against City of Austin

A member of the Austin police force is suing the city for gender discrimination. The officer filing the complaint, Aaron Van Bishop, took legal action after his supervisors allegedly ignored his complaints that he was being sexually harassed by a female co-worker.

The co-worker in question, Brenda Bermudez, filed a lawsuit herself last year claiming that she had been sexually harassed by several male co-workers. She also claimed that she was the victim of retaliation from her supervisors after reporting the instances of sexual assault.

Bishop, however, claims that Bermudez wrongfully accused him of sexually harassing her, and when he reported to his supervisors that Bermudez had sexually harassed him, no action was taken.

Sexual harassment on the job is a very serious matter, and if you have been the victim of sexual harassment at your place of work, you deserve a chance to pursue justice. Contact the Austin sexual harassment lawyers of The Melton Law Firm, at (512) 330-0017 to find out more about your legal rights and options and to discuss your situation with an experienced professional.

Transgender woman files discrimination lawsuit against Saks Fifth Ave.

A transgender woman in Houston is filing a lawsuit against Saks Fifth Ave. for discrimination and wrongful termination, according to an article by nydailynews.com.

Leyth Jamal said that her employer refused to use her preferred pronouns, forced her to wear men’s clothes and use the men’s restroom. She was also harassed and threatened with violence at her place of work, according the complaint. Jamal was eventually terminated for “inappropriate conversation” though the details of the alleged conversation were never released to her. A lawyer representing the retailer has said that, “it is well settled that transsexuals are not protected by Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1965].” However, the motion was filed a week after Holder clarified that Title VII covers discrimination against gender identity, which includes transgender individuals.

If your employer in Austin or other areas in Texas has violated any of the labor laws instituted in the state or has shown you any kind of ill will that can be classified as discrimination in the workplace, our attorneys at Melton Law Firm can work to uphold your rights. Call our Austin offices at (512) 330-0017 today.

Female Hispanic manager sued MLB for discrimination

Forty-eight-year-old Sylvia Lind, the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in a management position at Major League Baseball, said in a lawsuit she filed against the organization on December 11 that she has faced discrimination in the league for over two decades, the Associated Press reported.

According to the lawsuit, Lind, who is currently the MLB’s director of baseball initiatives in the Office of the Commissioner, said she has been passed over for promotions and has been consistently underpaid since 1995. She also claimed to experience a hostile work environment because of her age. The lawsuit also asserted that Frank Robinson, former hall of fame player, was appointed the executive vice president of baseball development despite a lack of qualifications and is paid over $1 million annually.

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination or a hostile work environment in Austin, the attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm may be able to advocate on your behalf. Call our offices at (512) 330-0017 today to learn about your legal options.

Female bosses face greater stress than male counterparts

A new study entitled, “Gender, Job Authority, and Depression,” which will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, revealed that women who work in higher authority posts are more prone to exhibiting signs of depression than their male counterparts.

Co-written by Tetyana Pudrovska and Amelia Karraker, sociologist from the University of Texas at Austin and assistant professor at the Iowa State University, the study took into account data from the past 50 years. As women are elevated into higher workplace positions, they are more likely to face harmful stereotypes and experience greater challenges to their authority.

Pudrovska said the study highlights societal and cultural forces that remain prevalent despite an effort to create greater gender equality in the workplace.

Our attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm in Austin, handle employment concerns, including discrimination in the workplace based on gender. If you believe you have a case, contact our offices at (512) 330-0017 today to learn about your legal options.

UT prohibits faculty/student relationships

University of Texas regents recently passed new regulations that prohibit relationships between employees and students, 18 months after two of its coaches were revealed to have engaged in sexual activity with student athletes, the Houston Chronicle reported on August 22.

According to a press release from the UT System Board of Regents, the amendments prohibit even consensual relationships between faculty or staff and students, in order to prevent any possible abuse of power situation. Relationships can be approved if a plan of action to prevent conflicts is designed and agreed upon.

In November 2012, coach Bev Kearney reported a relationship that occurred ten years previously and was forced to resign. Coach Major Applewhite, however, revealed a one-time sexual encounter with a student and received a reprimand. Kearney has filed a gender discrimination and wrongful termination suit against the school.

The attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm know that in many cases, employers do wrong by their employees, through discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or something else. Our Austin legal team is dedicated to holding employers responsible when they act unlawfully. Contact our offices at (512) 330-0017 today to discuss your case.

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