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Texas had the greatest number of charges filed with the EEOC in 2013

Texas had the highest number of workplace harassment and discrimination cases filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year, with 9,068 charges filed in Texas out of all the charges filed with the EEOC in 2013, which totaled 93,727.

Second to Texas was Florida with 7,597 charges filed. California, Georgia, and Illinois followed Florida’s lead, with 6,892; 5,162; and 4,781 charges filed with the EEOC respectively.

Retaliation headed the list of discrimination charges in Texas, comprising around 41% of all cases, followed by racial discrimination at 35.3%; sex discrimination, which included sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination at 29.5%; and discrimination due to disability at 27.7%.

When it comes to discrimination and sexual harassment, our lawyers at The Melton Law Firm can help. We have been helping Austin employees who believe their rights were violated get the justice they need, so call us at (512) 330-0017 today to find out how we can help you.

Austin Fire Department hiring hiatus ongoing due to discrimination settlement process

The Austin Fire Department’s six-month hiring freeze is not tapering off despite a new hiring proposal. The hiatus was put in place after a ruling was made in September regarding the complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding allegations that the city’s fire department cadet hiring process is discriminatory against African-American and Hispanic people. The freeze is mainly in place so that the city council and the Department of Justice can reach an agreement regarding the settlement to give to the said victims of discrimination.

If the settlement process is rushed, Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks said that the result might not be agreeable to the association, which could result in federal action and a further “three to five years with no hires.”

According to a city spokesperson, an Austin city ordinance requires that 240 firefighters must be employed by the city 24/7.

If you had been treated unfairly by your place of employment in Austin or during the employment process, our legal team at The Melton Law Firm, may be able to help you achieve justice and get compensation for the harm you have suffered. To discuss your situation and options, call (512) 330-0017.

First non-discrimination ordinance complaint filed in San Antonio

Telecommunications corporation AT&T is the first defendant under San Antonio, Texas’s new non-discrimination ordinance, which protects the rights of LGBT employees at the workplace.

According to the non-discrimination ordinance complaint filed on Tuesday, January 7 by openly gay attorney Justin Nichols on behalf of Matthew Hileman, Hileman was fired by the company after reporting a negative conversation that he heard in the office regarding transgender people and after being outed as a transgender individual.

San Antonio City Attorney Robbie Greenblum said an investigation will take place into the case, but also noted that AT&T probably won’t be subjected to a class-C misdemeanor, the highest offense for a city ordinance, nor a $500 fine. However, if worse comes to worst, terminating AT&T’s contract with the city can be considered, Greenblum said.

If you feel that you have been subject to discrimination in the workplace, there are things you can do to take action and stand up for your rights. Contact the Austin team at The Melton Law Firm, by calling (512) 330-0017 to learn more about what we are prepared to do to fight for you.

Spousal benefits provided for same-sex marriages by more than 2/3 of Fortune 500 companies

According to a press release issued on Monday, December 9 by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies and 90% of all large employers are providing health insurance and other benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees. Among the corporations that are extending such benefits for the first time next year are Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Hormel Foods LLC, and Wendy’s International, Inc.

The organization’s 12th annual Corporate Equality Index, which conducts a rating of private companies’ adoption of policies affecting gay and transgender people, showed a record number of businesses incorporating policies that provide protection for discrimination against gay and transgender people in the workplace, including 61% of Fortune 500 companies.

When you are experiencing workplace discrimination in Austin, our lawyers at The Melton Law Firm, can help. We believe that no one should be unduly subjected to such mistreatment and, as such, do our utmost when an employee is treated unfairly. Call us at (512) 330-0017 to talk about your situation and legal options.

EEOC accuses Austin Fire Department of racial discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that the Austin Fire Department has discriminated against Latinos and African-Americans in their hiring process. Fire-fighter exams, which must be submitted with an application to the fire department, were allegedly biased against minorities.

The Department of Justice informed Austin through a letter that the fire department’s employment application practices were biased.

AFD Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr maintains that the perceived discrimination was “unintentional”, and that applicants with the highest scores were hired.

Kerr also noted in the 2012 fire department review that they encouraged female candidates, as well as candidates of other races, to apply for the positions.

No one be forced to endure workplace discrimination. If you or a loved one is being treated unfairly by an employer, please contact our experienced attorneys at The Melton Law Firm, by calling (512) 330-0017 to discuss your situation.

Merrill Lynch and plaintiffs reach $160M settlement

Bank of America-owned brokerage giant Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s largest brokerage firms with more than 15,000 financial advisers, and the lawyers for hundreds of its African-American financial advisers, who accused the company of racial discrimination, reached a $160 million settlement on Wednesday, August 28.

Merrill Lynch issued a statement on the same day saying that they will not comment on the “existence of a settlement [nor its status].” The company maintained that it practices fair standards among all its employees, saying that all its financial advisers are “judged by the same metric regardless of race.”

However, the plaintiffs claimed discrimination prevailed in the company, citing as proof a 2009 filing that only 2 percent of the brokers at Merrill Lynch were black.

If you too are facing racial discrimination from your Austin employer, seek the assistance of our lawyers at The Melton Law Firm. We can help you fight any acts of discrimination, in addition to other employment violations, so call us at 512-330-0017 today.

Racial discrimination lawsuit against Paula Deen dismissed

A racial discrimination case filed against celebrity chef Paula Deen by her former employee Lisa Jackson was dismissed on Monday, August 12 by U.S. District Judge Williams Moore, Jr.

In addition to the racial discrimination case filed against Deen, Jackson also filed a sexual discrimination claim against Deen’s brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, claiming the latter created a hostile working environment for her at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, a fact that the restaurant’s co-owner Deen did nothing about.

According to papers obtained by The Wrap, Deen and Hiers had argued that Jackson, who is white, “lacks standing to pursue racial discrimination claims because she does not allege that she suffered any discrimination based on her race.”

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm have vast experience helping employees in Austin claims involving work discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, civil rights violations, retaliations, wrongful termination, overtime/wage violations, equal pay disputes, and other employment issues. Call 512-330-0017 today to talk with us if you have been unfairly treated at work and want to seek justice for this unfair treatment.

Texas man appeals suit alleging wrongful termination by Attorney General’s Office

After having his discrimination lawsuit dismissed by a lower court, Vic Gardner, a former employee with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, has filed an appeal, stating that upon discovering Gardner was gay at a Halloween party, his boss created a hostile work environment, resulting in Gardner’s eventual resignation.

His claim states that the discrimination started when Gardner was assumed as a gay by his supervisor after he dressed up as a geisha girl at a Halloween party in their office. Gardner was supposedly treated differently by his supervisor, who reportedly admitted to having a “religious objection” to Gardner’s sexual orientation, after the party and was habitually disciplined, causing him to resign in February 2013.

In his appeal, Gardner is seeking damages for lost income, medical bills, and emotional suffering.

Our legal team at The Melton Law Firm, understands that facing sexual discrimination in the workplace can cause personal and professional suffering. Learn how we may be able to help you hold your employer responsible by calling (512) 330-0017 to discuss your legal options.

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