Can Texas Employers Make Compensation Decisions Based on Race?

Employment discrimination is widely recognized as an illegal practice. However, what exactly constitutes discrimination changes over time. Due in part to a long-awaited shift in societal values, as well as empirical data establishing that many immutable characteristics have nothing to do with someone’s ability to perform the functions of a job, the number of protected groups under state and federal employment discrimination statutes continues to grow.As the protected groups have grown over time, so too has the type of conduct that employers are prohibited from engaging in. No longer are Texas employment discrimination lawsuits limited to an employee being fired or demoted for an impermissible reason. Today’s anti-discrimination laws are much more robust, protecting employees from all kinds of workplace discrimination.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are not permitted to discriminate in any of the following areas:

  • Advertising for open positions in a manner that encourages or discourages certain groups from applying;
  • Implementing recruiting practices that focus on only certain groups of employees;
  • Determining who to hire, fire, or promote;
  • Carrying out the company’s disciplinary procedures; and
  • Making compensation decisions.

The issue of compensation presents an especially interesting topic, because historically employers have been given broad latitude when it comes to how they compensate their employees. However, over time, patterns began to emerge where certain minority groups were, as a whole, being compensated less than their majority counterparts.

As a result of these practices, the “equal pay for equal work” movement gained force. Most people are probably familiar with the equal pay movement in the context of the gender wage gap. However, the law makes no distinction in this regard as to whether the discriminatory conduct is based on gender or race.

In short, it is illegal for an employer to pay members of different races different rates when they are performing the same work. This includes employee benefits packages. So, for example, an employer cannot make a premium benefits package only available to a certain racial group, offering only a mediocre package to the other employees.

Given the nuances of what constitutes employment discrimination, as well as employers’ continual attempts to justify or hide their disparate treatment of employees, these cases require significant preparation. For that reason, anyone considering filing a Dallas employment discrimination case should consult with a dedicated Texas employment law attorney.

Are You in Need of an Attorney?

If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination in the workplace, contact the dedicated Dallas employment discrimination attorneys at the law firm of Rob Wiley, P.C. Attorney Rob Wiley and his team of Texas employment lawyers have decades of combined experience representing Texas employees and standing up for their rights. At Rob Wiley, P.C., we are passionate about our work, and it shows in the outcomes we are able to obtain for our clients. To learn more, call 214-528-6500 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

The Intersection Between Title VII and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Rules Regarding Accent Discrimination, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2018.

ADA Guidelines Regarding Disclosing Disabilities During Interviews, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, June 29, 2018.

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