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Texas Commission on Human Rights

Richard Allen Burns General Entry

he Texas Commission on Human Rights was established by the state legislature when the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act passed on June 26, 1983, authorizing the agency to enforce the law and handle complaints filed under the commission and/or deferred by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of discrimination in certain employment transactions. Besides investigating and resolving complaints of employment discrimination, the commission also provided technical assistance to employers for equal opportunity training. When the Texas Fair Housing Act was passed by the legislature on May 25, 1989, the commission was further empowered to enforce its provisions. Consequently, the agency was authorized to protect citizens against housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, and mental or physical disability. This act, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, was substantially equivalent to Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1969, as amended. Along with investigating and resolving complaints of housing discrimination, the commission also provided technical assistance to housing providers. Since the state's antidiscrimination laws are similar to certain federal laws, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the commission had a statutory and contractual link with EEOC and HUD, and both provided federal funds to the commission to cover a portion of the costs of processing complaints. The Texas Commission on Human Rights was made up of six members who served six-year terms and who were appointed by the governor with senatorial advice and consent. One member served as chair, designated as such by the governor; one member represented industry, one represented labor, and the remaining four were appointed at large. Effective September 1, 2015, the duties and authority of the Texas Commission on Human Rights were transferred to the Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Richard Allen Burns, “Texas Commission on Human Rights,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-commission-on-human-rights.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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