What is pretext?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | employment law | 0 comments

As an employee, you have some valuable employment rights under both federal and state law. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, one of these is the right to be free from discrimination at work due to your sex, race, national origin, color, religion, disability or even sometimes your age.

If your employer terminates your employment or takes any other adverse employment-associated action for a protected reason, you may have grounds to file a discrimination complaint. Most employers in Texas and across the country know this, of course. Therefore, your employer may blame your mistreatment on something else.

Pretext is an excuse

It is not uncommon for in-the-know employers to blame the mistreatment of their employees on something other than discrimination. After all, few employers want to expose themselves to legal liability for discriminating against their workers.

Pretext happens when employers come up with some excuse to justify their discriminatory actions. For example, your employer may claim you missed sales goals or failed to attend a mandatory training session. Still, the pretext is just as illegal and unacceptable as discrimination itself.

You may have a valid claim

If you think your employer is trying to justify your mistreatment using some pretext, you may have a valid discrimination claim. To improve your chances of having a successful claim, though, you should gather as much evidence as possible. Remember, you may have to prove your employer’s rationale is only a pretext to cover illegal conduct.

Ultimately, you should not stand by and let your employer get away with illegal behavior by coming up with some pithy explanation for treating you poorly.