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I am subjected to discrimination at work, what can I do?

Dallas, TX |

I work for a person who was born in another country. My son suffered a bad injury and when I asked her to have time off, because the the doctor said "IT IS VITAL IN YOUR SON'S RECOVERY TO BE WITH HIM" and not at work. He had suffered a c-spine injury and I am his only parent. My manager said "No," and put me on weekends. I have seen her treat people from her own country very differently. Right now a employee is away with a similar circumstance. She gave her extended time off. Has posted a new schedule for people to take her place ect... I think this is unfair. I think she is giving her special privelages because she is fromt he same country. I did miss 2 days during my sons recovery. I was given final warning. I guarantee her fellow countryman will not get any disciplinary action like me.

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Attorney answers 4


You did not post any facts that would be unlawful discrimination, so please post them. You did not say how he was injured, as he may need a personal injury lawyer to investigate.


More facts need to be known for an attorney to decide whether you have a valid case. I suggest you contact an attorney to discuss these matters.


Depending on how many employees work for your company, you may be entitled to take FMLA leave to care for your son. Does the company have an HR department? Have you complained about your manager to HR or to someone higher up in the organization?
If you believe you are being discriminated against based on ethnicity or nationality you may be able to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC or with the Texas Workforce Commission. I suggest you either go that route or consult with an employment law attorney in your area.


Here's the good news: If an employee is qualified for, and approved for, medical leave (which can include caring or a sick or injured child) under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the employer's ability to terminate that employee during the leave period is extremely limited. Here are the basics of FMLA eligibility.
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:
•work for a covered employer;
•have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months;
•have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and
•work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

I have posted a link below to the Department of Labor's FMLA Fact Sheet.

Now for the bad news. If the employer has (on average) less than 50 employees, state law applies, rather than the FMLA. Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can terminate the employ at any time with or without cause. If an employer, at any time, decides they no longer want to employ someone, for any non-discriminatory reason, that employee can legally be terminated. However, an employer generally cannot terminate an employee for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation, which you have provided, does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination. Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

If you feel the employer is acting in violation of the FMLA, you should contact an experienced labor and employment lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

Good luck.

Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.

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