It's no easy task to take on a company when you have been continuously dealing with discrimination. The same can be said about a city government. Many people fear speaking up about unfair and illegal treatment because they fear losing their job or getting reprimanded. The fear in many cases is very warranted because we have heard of such situations in New York time and time again.
Right now a legal matter is making headlines involving a woman from Nicaragua who was hoping to advance in her career at Austin's Watershed Protection Department in Texas. The woman applied for a higher position and did not receive the job. Instead, a male employee eventually got the offer. In that same time, three white employees received a raise after the department was recognized, but the woman did not.
After the woman shared her concerns with the department director, she was apparently written up and put on a two-day leave. She eventually filed a discrimination lawsuit based on gender and national origin in 2013 and that case is finally going to trial this week.
While cases like this may be hard to prove, they are not impossible. It's also important to consider that the city tried to get the lawsuit dismissed last year and a judge rejected that request. Although this lawsuit may seem like an isolated case, a city memo does show that the city has seen 162 discrimination charges and five lawsuits between 2010 and 2015. It will be interesting to see where this case goes. The outcome of the case may impact or even help other employees who are struggling with the same issues.