Overview

If you believe you may have been discriminated against in employment due to your color, you may submit a discrimination complaint through the TWC Civil Rights Division. To learn more about the complaint process, see How to Submit an Employment Discrimination Complaint.

Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 (Chapter 21) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) protect individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of color. An employer may not discriminate against any employee or applicant in hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training or any other term, condition or privilege of employment. Employers also may not legally base employment decisions on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits or the performance of individuals based on color. The law applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, and to all state and local governmental entities no matter how many employees they have.

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Color Related Characteristics

Color discrimination can occur between persons of different races or ethnicities, or between persons of the same race or ethnicity. Although Chapter 21 and Title VII do not define "color", the courts and the investigative agencies (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and TWC Civil Rights Division) read "color" to have its commonly understood meaning – pigmentation, complexion, or skin shade or tone. Color discrimination occurs when a person is discriminated against based on the lightness, darkness, or other color characteristic of the person. Title VII prohibits race/color discrimination against all persons, including Caucasians.

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Harassment

Ethnic slurs, jokes, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on a person’s color constitute unlawful harassment if the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, or interferes with the individual's work performance.

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