There are two major players in every workplace discrimination case: the employee and the employer. But another key piece that goes into making sure employees have fair protections is the government oversight and investigation that comes with a claim.
But what if it takes months or years for the government to assign an investigator? KUT 90.5 in Austin shares a story about a woman waiting on the process to get her fair justice.
A woman fired for napping
A former military woman working at a private clinic as an X-ray technician believes her termination was discrimination. Despite her reporting within 180 days of the incident according to Texas Workforce Commission, the Civil Rights Division suffers no similar pressure to respond with an investigation.
Her work demanded long hours, many over 12 hours with no set breaks. To catch up on rest, doctors and other staffers could sleep in a designated room. Her supervisor allegedly encouraged it. The clinic did not fire anyone else for sleeping on the job. The woman believes the only other difference among her peers — the color of her skin — had a hand in the firing.
A system stressed for resources
Whether a termination is racially motivated or otherwise, government investigation provides vital insight into an employer’s reactions and behavior.
People may bypass a workplace investigation by representing themselves or having their representation go forward without it. Otherwise, they have to wait on the government’s investigators. The Civil Rights Division says it closed over 1,000 cases with a staff of about 46 and though they claim they hit their marks, employees still wait over 16 months to hear from them.
Though there is no sign of the Civil Rights Division in Texas considering an appeal for more funds, people still need to exercise their rights against discrimination to help curb unfair terminations.