H.B. 1453
By: Turner, Sylvester
Committee Report (Amended)


Current law does not allow the Commission on Human Rights to pursue legal
action in employment discrimination complaints.  Current law also does not
give the Commission on Human Rights the authority to require the Office of
the Attorney General  to pursue legal action in employment discrimination

The Commission on Human Rights' lack of authority has hindered its ability
to obtain federal funding from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC).  The EEOC's performance measures require state agencies that deal
with employment discrimination issues to meet certain enforcement targets
to receive federal funding.  The Commission on Human Rights must take
action on employment discrimination complaints to meet these targets.  The
lack of authority to direct the Attorney General to take action hinders
the Commission's ability to meet the federal performance goals. 


As proposed, H.B. 1453 would require the Attorney General to legally
pursue employment discrimination cases, as authorized by the Commission on
Human Rights, within 30 days of authorization from the commission.  


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any
additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or


SECTION 1.  Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 21 of the Labor Code by adding
Section 21.010 which thereby requires the attorney general to commence a
legal action no later than 30 days after the Commission on Human Rights
authorizes the action. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 21.210 (a) of the Labor Code requiring the
Commission on Human Rights  to authorize the attorney general, in a
perfected complaint, to file a petition seeking temporary relief. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 21.151 of the Labor Code by adding Subsections
(b) and (c): 

Section 21.151 (b) requires the Commission on Human Rights to authorize
the attorney general to file civil action in district court seeking relief
for a complaint. 

Section 21.151 (c) provides that the venue for a proceeding under this
section is the county in which the employment practice occurred. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 21.306 (b) of the Labor Code if a person fails
to comply with a Commission on Human Rights subpoena, the commission must
authorize the attorney general to order compliance with the subpoena. 

 SECTION 5.  Effective date; September 1, 1997.  Makes this Act

SECTION 6.  Emergency clause.


Committee amendment no. 1 letters existing Sec. 21.010 as subsection (a)
and adds subsection (b) and (c) as exceptions to (a) as follows: 

(b) requires the attorney general to review and determine whether the
commission's reasonable cause findings are well grounded in fact and
warranted by law, within 10 days of notification of the authorization of
legal action.  If the attorney general so finds, he/she shall file suit as
provided in (a). 

(c) requires the attorney general to explain in writing to the executive
director a determination that findings are not well grounded in fact or
warranted by law within 10 days of receiving the commission's
authorization.  Upon a vote to proceed with legal action by a majority of
commission members at a regularly scheduled session, the attorney general
shall either file the action within 30 days of the vote, or authorize the
commission to retain outside counsel within 10 days of the vote.  If the
attorney general declines to file the action, the commission may file
through outside counsel within 30 days of the commission vote.  The
commission may discuss the proposed legal action in closed session before
the vote.