One of the greatest fears of hardworking adults in Texas is becoming unemployed. It is not just about losing their income, but also getting set back in their careers. It can be difficult to get back on track for the same career field when a worker leaves before they have the next step planned and ready. Sometimes a position just becomes redundant or a person commits an act that warrants the termination. However, there are other instances where a person is wrongfully terminated. What then?
Forbes reminds workers that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes Title VII, which covers wrongful termination. The act identifies what employer practices became illegal and what groups of people gain protection. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces these laws, though they may need to be informed that a violation has been committed in order to act on an individual’s or group’s behalf.
If a person believes specific demographic information prompted their wrongful termination, it is important to see if it falls within the protected classes:
- Age or other genetic information
- Race or ethnicity
- Marital status
- Pregnancy status
- Citizenship and national origin
The Texas Workforce Commission has its own process in place for submitting claims regarding discrimination and the resulting wrongful termination. It requires that applicants meet certain criteria before filing a claim. Some of these include working for a company with 15 or more employees, that the act of discrimination took place within the past 180 days and that the physical address of the company was within state borders.
TWC reviews each application to ensure it meets the requirements. If it does, then the office usually follows up with a charge of discrimination. This gets mailed to the applicant to be reviewed and signed. The parties involved then get two options: mediation or an investigation.
Companies tend to prefer mediation to avoid public scandal and in-depth investigation by government agencies. However, there is no guarantee that a company may take this route, particularly if the terms proposed in mediation are not to their liking.