Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Department of Justice announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), alleging the agency discriminated against a black male former employee on the basis of race and/or sex by subjecting him to a hostile work environment and then terminating him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The suit was filed in federal district court in the Western District of Texas.

According to the department’s complaint, from early 2007 until his termination in July 2007, Michael Lewis was subjected to race- and gender-based slurs and insults and other objectionable conduct by his first- and second-line supervisors. Additionally, the supervisors ignored and even ridiculed his repeated complaints to them about being harassed by one of his assigned clients at DFPS, in contrast to the office’s prior practice of transferring non-black, female investigators from cases in which they experienced harassment from clients. The racial and sexual harassment of Lewis ultimately culminated in his termination.

“All workers have the right to go to work each without facing discrimination and without having to suffer racial and sexual harassment. Public employers should set an example for others by upholding the law and taking prompt and effective action to stop discrimination when it occurs,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue such violations of Title VII.”

The El Paso, Texas, area office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigated and attempted to resolve Lewis’s charge of discrimination before referring it to the Department of Justice for litigation. More information about the EEOC is available on its website at http://www.eeoc.gov.

The enforcement of Title VII is a top priority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its websites at http://www.justice.gov/crt/ and http://www.justice.gov/crt/emp/.

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Racial and Sexual Harassment by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

3 Responses to “Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Texas Department of Family and Protective Services”

  1. StandUp Says:

    The advocates at GRADE have worked hard to bring to light the problems of this agency.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    You mean the Justice Dept will take action against government agencies in some states? Wow.

  3. darlene dempsey Says:

    they need to file charges against them for not doing their job right we have two grandchildren that they have taken away from the other grandparents just because they cps wants to put them up for adoption instead of letting the two sets of grandparents raise them. they will not even let us see them now that they have placed them in foster care. what good is this should file charges for failer to uphold their mmoto on web page "place children with family before concidering adoption the east texas jacksonville palestine tyler offices do not care how they hurt the families the kids or the grandparents or anyone else someone should take their right too

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