Many employers have internal grievance procedures for employees who feel they have been discriminated against. But what if, while the complaint is pending, the employee files a complaint with the Texas Commission on Human Rights (TCHR)?
Do you have to keep going with the internal process? No, you don’t.
Recent case: Nicolas was terminated from his job with Hidalgo County. He filed an internal grievance alleging discrimination. While the process was still going forward, he filed a discrimination complaint with the TCHR.
The county then ended the grievance process and Nicolas added retaliation to his lawsuit. A jury awarded Nicolas $100,000.
On appeal, that was reversed. The court said that ending the grievance didn’t harm Nicolas since he had simply chosen litigation instead. That’s not retaliation. (Cantu v. Hidalgo County, No. 13-11-00245, Court of Appeals, 13th District, 2012)