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Texas receives unwanted discrimination title

There is an inordinate amount of training and education conducted across the country each year about various aspects of discrimination and its consequences. Despite these efforts, workplace discrimination continues to be problematic across the corporate landscape. It occurs in companies that are publicly owned as well as privately held, and small companies don't seem to be any more immune than large corporations. In different states across the country, however, discrimination seems to have a stronger hold.

In 2013, Texas led the nation in the number of workplace discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These 9,068 complaints included everything from age discrimination to religious discrimination complaints. What is truly staggering is not just the sheer number of complaints, but the fact that Texas had almost 20 percent more complaints within its state boundaries than the state in the number two position, which was Florida with 7,597 complaints last year. California was in the number three position with 6,892, followed by Georgia with 5,162 and then Illinois with 4,781.

The most widely complained about discrimination was retaliation, which was cited in 41 percent with the EEOC. Racial discrimination saw the second highest number of complaints at more than 35 percent. Sex discrimination, including both pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment was next in line garnering almost 30 percent of the filings, followed by disability discrimination at almost 28 percent.

Despite these grim numbers, there is some good news. In 2013, there was a 5.7 drop in total complaints nationwide from the previous year, which demonstrates that there is some progress being made in the area of workplace discrimination.

What makes these types of complaints so difficult for those who are discriminated against is that they often result in a sudden loss of income and difficulty finding new employment. Retaining an experienced legal professional is often the only way to mitigate the consequences prior to the EEOC's intervention. Fortunately, the EEOC is getting better at identifying and resolving discrimination issues, as it is now in its fourth consecutive year of resolving more discrimination cases than it took in.

Source: Austin Business Journal, "Texas leads nation in employment discrimination cases" Mike W. Thomas, Mar. 31, 2014

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