By: Farrar H.B. No. 143
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subtitle A, Title 2, Labor Code, is amended by
adding Chapter 23 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 23. EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION
BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 23.001. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be cited as the
Texas Employment Nondiscrimination Act.
Sec. 23.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Commission" means the Texas Workforce
(2) "Covered entity" includes an employer, an
employment agency, a labor organization, a joint labor-management
committee, or another person.
(3) "Division" means the Texas Workforce Commission
civil rights division.
(4) "Employer" has the meaning assigned by Section
(5) "Employment agency" has the meaning assigned by
(6) "Gender identity" means the actual or perceived
gender of an individual.
(7) "Labor organization" has the meaning assigned by
(8) "Religious organization" means:
(A) a religious corporation, association, or
(B) a school, institution of higher education, or
other educational institution, not otherwise a religious
(i) is wholly or substantially controlled,
managed, owned, or supported by a religious organization; or
(ii) has a curriculum directed toward the
propagation of a particular religion.
(9) "Sexual orientation" means the actual or perceived
status of an individual with respect to the individual's sexuality.
Sec. 23.003. RULES. The commission may adopt rules as
necessary to implement this chapter.
Sec. 23.004. NOTICES. Each covered entity shall post, in
the form and manner prescribed by commission rule, notices to
inform employees, applicants for employment, and members of the
entity of the applicable provisions of this chapter.
Sec. 23.005. EFFECT ON OTHER LAW. This chapter does not
limit or affect the rights, remedies, or procedures available to an
individual who claims discrimination prohibited under federal law,
another state law, or an order or ordinance of a political
subdivision of this state.
Sec. 23.006. NO DISPARATE IMPACT. The fact that a
particular employment practice has a disparate impact, as that term
is used under Section 703(k), Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C.
Section 2000e-2(k)), on the basis of sexual orientation or gender
identity does not establish a prima facie violation of this
[Sections 23.007-23.020 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER B. UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
Sec. 23.021. DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED. A covered entity
(1) subject an individual to different standards or
treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;
(2) discriminate against an individual based on the
sexual orientation or gender identity of persons with whom the
individual is believed to associate or to have associated; or
(3) otherwise discriminate against an individual on
the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sec. 23.022. RETALIATION AND COERCION PROHIBITED. (a) A
covered entity may not discriminate against an individual because
(1) opposes any act or practice prohibited by this
(2) makes or files a charge; or
(3) assists, testifies, or participates in any manner
in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted under this
(b) A covered entity may not coerce, intimidate, threaten,
or interfere with an individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, or
because the individual has exercised, enjoyed, assisted, or
encouraged the exercise or enjoyment of, a right granted or
protected by this chapter.
Sec. 23.023. PROHIBITION OF QUOTAS AND PREFERENTIAL
TREATMENT. A covered entity may not:
(1) adopt or implement a quota on the basis of sexual
orientation or gender identity; or
(2) give preferential treatment to an individual on
the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
[Sections 23.024-23.040 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER C. APPLICATION; EXCEPTIONS
Sec. 23.041. LIABILITY OF GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. (a) The
state or a political subdivision of this state is liable for a
violation of this chapter.
(b) Sovereign immunity is waived and abolished to the extent
of liability created by this chapter.
Sec. 23.042. APPLICATION TO CERTAIN BENEFITS. This chapter
does not apply to the provision of employee benefits to an
individual for the benefit of the individual's partner.
Sec. 23.043. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. (a) Except as
provided by Subsection (b), this chapter does not apply to a
(b) This chapter applies to activities conducted by a
religious organization for profit to the extent that those
activities are subject to federal taxation under Section 511(a),
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as that section existed on September
Sec. 23.044. VETERANS' PREFERENCE. This chapter does not
repeal or modify a state or local law that creates a special right
or preference in employment for a veteran of the armed forces of the
[Sections 23.045-23.060 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER D. ENFORCEMENT
Sec. 23.061. DIVISION AUTHORITY; ENFORCEMENT; PROCEDURES.
(a) The division has the same authority to administer and enforce
this chapter as it exercises under Chapter 21.
(b) The procedures and remedies applicable to a claim for a
violation of this chapter are the procedures and remedies
applicable to a claim brought under Chapter 21.
Sec. 23.062. ATTORNEY'S FEES. A prevailing party to an
action brought under this chapter is entitled to attorney's fees in
the manner provided by Section 21.259.
SECTION 2. This Act applies to conduct of a covered entity,
as that term is defined by Chapter 23, Labor Code, as added by this
Act, occurring on or after the effective date of this Act. Conduct
occurring before that date is governed by the law in effect on the
date the claim was filed, and the former law is continued in effect
for that purpose.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.