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Opposition to a Discriminatory Practice

// Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse

Employees and employers alike know that an employee who complains that he has been discriminated against is statutorily protected from retaliation by the employer. But, many employees--and some employers--do not know that an employee who “opposes” discriminatory conduct is also protected from retaliation.

To establish a violation of Texas’s antidiscrimination law, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, an employee must show that: (1) he engaged in an activity protected by the law; (2) an adverse employment action occurred; and (3) a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action exists. An employee engages in protected activity when he: files a charge of discrimination; complains internally of discrimination; testifies or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing; or opposes a discriminatory practice.

Opposition to a discriminatory practice is a protected activity even if the underlying discrimination claim ultimately fails. To establish that an employee opposed a discriminatory practice, the employee must demonstrate a good-faith, reasonable belief that the underlying discriminatory practice violated the TCHRA. In other words, an employee must show that he held a subjective belief that discrimination occurred and that his belief was objectively reasonable.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney, send an email to or call (214) 239-2705.

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