Resources for Teachers
Open Meetings Act
The Open Meetings Act Handbook and Public Information Handbook are online at the publications site for the Office of the Texas Attorney General.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Texas and federal law prohibits discrimination based upon:
- Religious Belief
- National Origin, Race or Color
The purpose of these equal employment opportunity laws is to guarantee that all people receive fair and equal employment opportunities regardless of any of the conditions listed above.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces civil rights law which protects individuals from discrimination and harassment. The TSTA Help Desk (877-ASK-TSTA) is available to answer members’ questions and evaluate potential violations.
A good starting point for learning about equal opportunity laws enforced by the EEOC is its web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/index.html
It is very important that you act quickly if you believe that you have been discriminated against. Not only do the district’s rules require a grievance to be filed promptly, the EEOC requires that it be notified, in most cases, within 90 days or any illegal discrimination or harassment.
Another excellent section of the EEOC web site, with questions and answers about your workplace rights, is: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides important protections to you if you must take an extended leave of absence due to your own serious health condition or the serious health condition of an immediate family member. It also protects employees (men and women) who take leave for the birth and care of a newborn child or for the adoption of a child.
Unfortunately, too many districts do an inadequate job in advising employees about their rights under the FMLA. A very readable source of information about the FMLA is found at the United States Department of Labor’s web site, http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla.
TSTA’s Help Center is available to assist with questions or concerns which you may have regarding the FMLA. Call 877-ASK-TSTA.
How to Report Unsafe Working Conditions
District employees may report unsafe working conditions–for example, unsanitary work sites or mold-contaminated environments–to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Division of Health and Safety at http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/wc/safety/document/employeehotline.pdf or by calling the safety violation hotline for school employees, 800-452-9595.