Most often when people think of workplace discrimination, they might imagine the victims to be of racial or other minority groups. However, this is not always the case as people who identify with majority groups are sometimes discriminated against as well. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Recently, an employment discrimination lawsuit was filed against Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law by a white assistant dean at the institution. The lawsuit alleges that the assistant dean was treated unfairly on the basis of her caucasian race.
The woman was hired by school's former dean in 2007 in the position of assistant dean of academic support. The woman held a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Texas Southern University has called the allegations baseless, but last month a U.S. district judge rejected the university's bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.
The assistant dean has said that the first two years of her employment at TSU went well and that she was treated fairly under the school's dean that hired her. When that dean left and another professor took over as interim dean in 2009, the discrimination reportedly began.
A news report in the Houston Chronicle does not detail the allegations of discrimination, but it does state that the dean allegedly went on a campaign to make the assistant's life difficult, and that he micromanaged her and failed to give her the authority necessary to do her job.
TSU has also been accused of withholding $5,000 in pay.
The outcome of this case remains to be seen, but it should be a reminder that discrimination does take many forms and shapes and that it is illegal under federal employment law whether the victim identifies with a minority or majority group.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Judge rules white administrator can proceed with discrimination suit against TSU," Robert Stanton, Nov. 21, 2012
- To learn more about this area of employment law, please visit our San Antonio law firm's discrimination page.