Employee complains to TCHR? OK to end internal grievance

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

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)

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