Saturday, June 25, 2011

TCHRA Retaliation claim against Employer

RETALIATION CLAIM In an action for retaliation brought under the TCHRA [ Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, no Section 21 of the Labor Code ] , the plaintiff-employee must make a prima facie showing that: (1) he engaged in a protected activity, (2) an adverse employment action occurred, and (3) a causal link existed between the protected activity and the adverse action. Dias v. Goodman Mfg. Co., L.P., 214 S.W.3d 672, 676 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. denied). Protected activities include: (1) opposing a discriminatory practice; (2) making or filing a charge; (3) filing a complaint; or (4) testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Id. (citing TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 21.055). If the plaintiff makes this showing, the burden shifts to the defendant-employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. Id. SOURCE: San Antonio Court of Appeals - 04-10-00730-CV - 6/22/11 AGE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM Under the THCRA: An employer commits an unlawful employment practice if because of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age the employer: (1) fails or refuses to hire an individual, discharges an individual, or discriminates in any other manner against an individual in connection with compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment; or (2) limits, segregates, or classifies an employee or applicant for employment in a manner that would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of any employment opportunity or adversely affect in any other manner the status of an employee. TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 21.051 (West 2006). The TCHRA also provides: (a) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, an unlawful employment practice is established when the complainant demonstrates that race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability was a motivating factor for an employment practice, even if other factors also motivated the practice, unless race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability is combined with objective job-related factors to attain diversity in the employer’s work force. (b) In a complaint in which a complainant proves a violation under Subsection (a) and a respondent demonstrates that the respondent would have taken the same action in the absence of the impermissible motivating factor, the court may grant declaratory relief, injunctive relief except as otherwise provided by this subsection, and attorney’s fees and costs demonstrated to be directly attributable only to the pursuit of a complaint under Subsection (a), but may not award damages or issue an order requiring an admission, reinstatement, hiring, promotion, or back pay. Id. § 21.125. Because the TCHRA’s stated purpose is to “provide for the execution of the policies of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its subsequent amendments,” Texas courts apply analogous federal case law when interpreting the Texas statute. Id. § 21.001(1); Quantum Chem. Corp. v. Toennies, 47 S.W.3d 473, 476 (Tex. 2001). SOURCE: San Antonio Court of Appeals - 04-10-00730-CV - 6/22/11

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