Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Hiring and harassment at TxDOT

Good morning. Here’s another story about harassment and discrimination being suffered by female and minority employees at a public institution, in this case the state Department of Transportation.

The Texas Department of Transportation held Tamela Saldana up as a “superhero” when she trekked across the state working to help contract with minority and women-owned businesses. But everywhere she went, Saldana said she encountered a similar troubling scene.

“I traveled to almost every district in TxDOT, and the faces were the same. They were the same. They were male, and they were predominately white male,” Saldana said. “If you saw a minority person, they were going to be the lowest level – the person who checked you into the front desk or the person who was out in the parking lot picking up litter.”

After more than a decade of glowing performance reviews, Saldana’s tenure with TxDOT came to an acrimonious end in 2012. That year, TxDOT fired the former University of Texas track star. She, in turn, sued for discrimination.

A KXAN investigation of TxDOT’s workforce reveals Saldana’s experience is one of hundreds that underscore the agency’s ongoing struggle to address gender and racial disparities — and their unfortunate side effects — in a culture historically and predominantly composed of white men, especially at its highest echelons.

KXAN found workers officially made more than 200 allegations against the agency in the past five years. Many of those came from women and minorities alleging harassment, discrimination and retaliation, according to internal TxDOT documents obtained through an open records request. Dozens of workers have also sued the agency in recent years on those grounds, according to court records.

Go read the rest. Basically, TxDOT is less reflective of society at large and the state’s overall civil workforce than it was a decade ago. It’s a problem on a number of levels, and it would be nice if our state’s leadership paid some attention to it. Link via the Trib/a>.

Related Posts:


  1. Manny Barrera says:

    Republicans/Trumpkins are the face of evil, discrimination is but one manifestation.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Different types of jobs attract different types of people. As an example, how many women are employed on asphalt laying crews? Tamela sees a problem with too many white people. Sounds a lot like Manny.

    Hey, Tamela, maybe I see a problem with wasting taxpayer money on set asides for MWBE companies. It’s 2018. Does a contractor have the best product at the lowest price? Maybe that should be the qualification to get a government contract. Period.

    ….and here’s a hint for Manny: identity politics like this is EXACTLY why Trump won. Oh, there aren’t enough women. Give me a break. Unless you can prove to me that women are more qualified for the various positions, actually applied for those positions, and were not hired, in favor of less qualified men, then really, cry me a river.

  3. Jules says:

    Wild guess: Bill is, and always has been, a white male

  4. C.L. says:

    “TxDOT said Saldana was ultimately fired for signing off on contracts with a service provider with whom she had a personal relationship.”

    “As program manager for the Business Outreach and Programs Services Office (BOP) of TxDOT, she helps small and minority vendors grow and prosper.”

    That doesn’t sound like racial discrimination, it sounds like she may have used her service provider contact to steer contracts to a select group via untoward influence or unsavory behaviors.

    Just presenting an opposing viewpoint. There’s TDOT’s side, her side, with the truth being somewhere in the middle.

  5. Bill Daniels says:


    I identify as attack helicopter. My pronouns are missile and door gunner. Please respect my choices.

  6. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill the Russian cheeto puppet won because of the Russians.

    Government gives out jobs based on low bid, with some exceptions, professional work like architects, engineers, etc are not usually low bid. So your statement is not true.

    Identity politics are being played by the Trump party, watch their ads and listen to low information supporters, almost everything is about “Illegals”, Gays, Blacks. That is identity politics, most commonly known as racist and bigot ads.

    C.L. that is what a leap you took to reach the conclusion that she was steering contracts to her friends. TXDOT did not accuse her of that.

    I understand why white males that are not as qualified need to maintain the white privilege they had in the past, they can’t compete in a level playing field.

  7. Bill Daniels says:


    Here’s where we are at. Congress voted on a bill to expedite deportation of illegal alien gang members (MS13, looking at y’all). Eleven Democrats voted for it. Think about that. Dems block voted to keep violent gang members IN the US. Maybe some of those gang members live near you? Maybe your neighborhood is their hunting ground?

    Elevating illegal aliens above US citizens, especially illegal alien gang members, doesn’t play well in the heartland of America.

    Close the spaces:

    http ://

    As to gays and blacks, I have no idea what you are talking about, other than Trump mentioning that black unemployment is at historic lows. I assume that gay people also have historic low unemployment.

  8. Manny Barrera says:

    You want to remove killers than let us start with young white males that handle weapons, they killing their class mates. So why are you protecting those animals Bill?

    Your scenario leaves out a lot of details Bill as to why they voted against it, the same law could be used against any five people acting together. I thought you were a Libertarian and yet you promote the government doing that. I guess you promote them taking money without conviction also? I guess you have no problem with the government taking your property, right Bill?

    The fact is that Bill would not require they prove someone is in a gang, they only have to claim suspicions. Let me provide an example so that your alternative reality is exposed.

    The ICE criminal, my opinion, even doctored the document to make him a gang member.

    How can one trust a group of racists and bigots that are lead by puppet of the Russians and has proven that he is a racist. That would be Trump, Bill.

  9. C.L. says:

    @Manny… I’m with you. Let’s deport the white males who commit firearms-related crimes back to their Country of Citizenship…. whoops, looks like the vast majority of them are already US citizens.

    Re: “C.L. that is what a leap you took to reach the conclusion that she was steering contracts to her friends. TXDOT did not accuse her of that.” Hold on, wasn’t that the justification TDOT released ?

  10. Manny Barrera says:

    No C.L. that was not the reason, she failed to disclose having a relationship with one of the vendors.

    C.L. their ancestors were not from here we can send them to one of those territories that we own, one of the uninhabited Aleutian Islands, like Australia used to be.